Archives For New Technology

2012-07-24 16.00.58About a million remote start systems are sold annually with remote starters that use a smartphone continuing to increase in sales, according to a recent report from CE Outlook.

This winter season the industry got off to a slow start due to the warm weather but with recent storms in some parts of North America companies will likely show substantial numbers in the end.

As reported, at Directed we’re seeing more sales of the Bluetooth version of our Viper SmartStart.

This is a lower-cost option but one that obviously significantly reduces the range. But for people who want to leave their cars “puffing” on the driveway in the morning when it’s cold, SmartStartBT certainly is a great solution.

That may explain in fact the rise in sales.

Our thanks to CE Outlook for reporting on this.

Read more on the remote-start trends from CE Outlook here.

2012-07-24 16.00.52-1An interesting article about the future of car manufacturing and production following the Chicago Auto Show.

We may all soon be driving cars that are increasingly built on shared platforms.

This revolution of the car business is being spear-headed by Volkswagen — which invested some $70 billion in its MQB program.

Other automakers are studying this and may follow suit. That’s because of the cost savings and increased profits are too much to ignore.

For instance, VW is expected to report a record profit of $30 billion from last year in part as a result of their new mega-platform strategy. This is great news for all the major automotive companies — but there is a huge potential downside if/when there’s a vehicle recall.

And what about consumers buying various models of cars and basically getting the same one their neighbor got but with a different badge and perhaps a wildly higher price tag?

Read more about Volkswagen’s “Holy Grail” from the Chicago Tribune here.

Photo credit: Chrysler.

Photo credit: Chrysler.

Why is the world going mobile?

Because more often than not, smartphones are better at a diverse collection of functions than some other single device is at one of its core features.

Take navigation for example. In a recent J.D. Power study, they found consumers were increasingly unhappy with the systems built into their cars.

Almost half the people downloaded a nav app onto their phones to supplement their in-car counterparts.

Moreover, drivers say they will not purchase a car with nav again. And really, why should they when the nav on their handheld is so effective?

Whether you need directions, security or entertainment, the solution increasingly seems to be right in our hands.

Read more about the mobile revolution and nav stinking from Wired.com here.

 

2012-07-24 16.00.50“Connected car” was the buzz phrase at CES and the Consumer Telematics Show as well.

There were so many announcements related to the field in Las Vegas that it’s a little dizzying trying to track it all.

Carmakers like Chrysler talked about enhancements to its UConnect system while Ford touted its newspaper reader via the Kaliki Audio Newsstand.

Pandora, Aha, iHeart Radio, among others announced its deals.

Hopefully you caught our blog post that ran on the CES blog during the show: Can Connected Cars Change the World?

You can also get the overview from the recent shows here from Extreme Tech and Tech Crunch.

Credit: Garmin

Credit: Garmin

Garmin has a lot more planned than making personal nav devices — and they’re even going beyond OE infotainment systems.

They introduced a new platform at CES. K2 promises to be more than a mere navigation add-on.

It will feature a 10-inch touchscreen that will function like a large smartphone with online connectivity.

Another larger screen though will serve as the car’s instrument cluster.

With Bluetooth, drivers would be able to connect their phones and have the system deal with calls and messages. Voice command will make it safe for people to access features and data while driving.

The system may offer even more when it actually goes into a production car. As of now it is not slated for any vehicle.

Read more about the “dashboard of the near future” from CNET here.