Evolutionary Infotainment & Connectivity – Volvo’s Model
Autonomous cars and flying cars are still oneiric with no reality in sight. But the expectations and aspirations of today’s connected genre (fb connections apart) demand conveniences that limit the possibilities of imaginations and increase the challenges of the manufacturers and the app developers manifold. Yes, I am referring to the generational growth of Infotainment and Connected abilities of the CARS that have become an integrated part of our lives, specially in Cities. A survey shows that about 50% of the world’s population lives in cities and it is set to grow to 75% by 2050. City infrastructure in every country struggles to keep pace with Population Growth. Also, Car is no longer a ‘status symbol’ (it used to be in the 50s & 60s here in India) for city dwellers but a provider of a ‘timely service’ enabling an individual’s commuting conditions. Infotainment is an added value. Cars will get connected too in future playing a greater role in collecting, processing, and delivering enormous data (say about location just to cite one parameter) to handle the issues. Computer scientists of companies – like those in Big Data – will need to have their sleeves rolled up to bring grist to the mill. Apps developers can have their fertile imagination move forwards & backwards; sidewards; replicating the possible movement of the present day cars. Up and down only when flying cars become a reality !
“Volvo” has taken the first step Towards the new tech christened “Sensus Connected Touch” which turns the 7″ display in the dash in to a state-of -the-art Infrared, beam-scanned touch screen one can use even when wearing gloves – a World First in Companies. It allows drivers to be able to stream music with a 3G/4G dongle or via the driver’s mobile phone connection through their dashboard. This NEW TECH responds to demand from drivers for consumption of music on road combined with Volvo’s safety Value. The tech also includes access to 1000s of radio stations from all over the world. System is based on android tech. Other apps available via Sensus Connected Touch include Google maps, TuneIn, iGO navigation, and an app store for new functions and updates. Internet data can also be transferred via WiFi between the mobile phone and Sensus Connected Touch & WiFi network can be shared with everyone in the car when using a dongle.
This went on sale as recently as May 2013 and can be fitted in all Volvos. ( V40; V40 Cross Country; V60; V70; XC60; XC70; S60 & S80). Haken Hellman, Product Manager says : “The intuitive user interface, a very rapid browser response, and the wide choice of around 20 functions and apps are benefits that makes Sensus Connected Touch outstanding compared with our main competitors.”
An exciting EVOLUTION in store for Consumers, Car Manufacturers & Mobile field operators. Even more exciting will be for the discerning graduates whose thought processes the tech can accend.
Tech has always enthralled me and I view tech as not just a means to enhance the quality of life of the human being; but to arouse the grey matter to explore further. True merit and value of a brief outline of a new tech like this lies in adding value in terms of substance/impact OR possible aspects of future diagnosis/exploration(s). That is the take-away for the gourmand in terms of intellectual food. I stick to this rigid rule in all my pieces (either embedded in the text itself for the reader to discern and discept or stated explicitly in the opening or concluding part) to make it meaningful, relevant and useful. In this context I provide the three following aspects for detailed scrutiny and investigation(s) :
1. What Business Models will create value in Connectivity to Customers ?
2. What compelling Infotainment that the users will be willing to pay for ?
3. Can the ‘Cloud’ enable the delivery of in-car-services and if so how ?
“Dieu avec nous”
October 26, 2013. (Saturday) 3.15 p.m. (IST)