A new platform for in-car entertainment is ready to hit the market, based on the latest software from Research in Motion (RIM) subsidiary, QNX.
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Cadillac‘s latest in-vehicle connectivity and control module, called CUE, has been given a big boost by receiving the Top Gadgets of 2012: Editor’s Choice Award by Popular Mechanics magazine.
The award was presented to Cadillac at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, NV. Cadillac was the only auto manufacturer to walk away with an award from Popular Mechanics.
The CUE was picked because of its innovative technology and potential impact on the industry.
Andrew Del-Colle, assistant editor of Popular Mechanics magazine said; “After seeing an earlier demonstration of the system at the Los Angeles Auto Show, I knew it would be a strong candidate for an award at CES. The show offered a great opportunity to compare the CUE with many other OEM and aftermarket systems, and it stood out to us for its innovative use of new standards such as HTML 5, as well as for its intuitive user interface.”
CUE brings the first application of capacitive touch in an automobile. It uses electrodes to sense conductive properties of objects such as fingers. This system is similar to the touch and interaction one gets from gadgets like the iPad.
Other key aspects of CUE are natural speech recognition, Bluetooth connectivity for up to 10 devices and a motorized concealed storage compartment. The system runs on an ARM 11 3-core processor on a Linux open-source HTML5-based software platform.
The CUE system will debut in the Cadillac XTS and the ATS, and will be thus available to consumers from this summer.
Broadcom, NXP, Freescale and Harmon have joined their knowledge together to create OPEN (One Pair Ether Net) Alliance, which will work on ethernet based connectivity for automobiles. This system will be able to offer 100Mbps connectivity over a single unshielded cable.
This new partnership between these tech companies is called SIG (Special Iinterest Group) and BMW and Hyundai are the first auto-makers to sign on to this technology.
If Ford has any say, the CD player could go the way of the cassette, 8-track, and the phonograph: because what are ya, some kind of Metamucil-chuggin’ geezer?
Time to throw out that David Bowie’s Greatest Hits CD, because digital media is the only route for Ford and its SYNC system. The well-publicized “infotainment hub” will allow Wifi access of drivers’ digital libraries, from Spotifiy or Apple’s iCloud. MP3 players can also plug right in via aux inputs. And with 2.15 million Fords expected to have SYNC by 2015, it will be enough to sink the CD player and falling physical media sales (down 12.4% in 2010).
The BMW Apps option will allow owners to pick their own Pandora stations, create new ones, skip songs and like others, all through BMW’s iDrive interface. The iPhones plug into a USB port or through a unique adapter in a BMW’s center console, which allows the iDrive center controller and steering wheel buttons to control music functions.
“We’re excited that BMW is making Pandora available to customers across its full range of vehicles and that drivers will be able to tune into their personalized radio stations from the road,” said Jessica Steel, a vice president for Pandora.
With current BMWs featuring AM/FM radio, CD changers, XM satellite radio, iPod integration, Bluetooth, USB support, and the soothing voice of mademoiselle Satellite Navigation, it’s refreshing to see BMW give its owners some long-needed variety. The BMW Apps option is $250 on all new models, and its hands-free integration capabilities will allow BMW owners no excuses for being unable to grasp the finer points of turn signal operations.