October 12, 2012

The Next Battleground for Open vs. Closed: Your Car

It all seems upside down: a major toy company releases its first tablet; a major search company works on its first car. Yet all of this makes sense when you realize everyone just wants to be â or may already be â in the mobile device business. Including car companies.

A friend recently showed me his shiny new luxury sports car. Did he rave about the 333-horsepower, six-cylinder engine, or 14-speaker, noise-cancelling stereo system? No. His first point of pride was the carâs ability to become an internet hotspot, powering Wi-Fi devices throughout the vehicle. This makes sense when you realize cars have become our portable offices and homes, a shared mobile experience for the entire family.

Jim Zemlin

In this brave new world, connectivity is king. The engine is almost an afterthought.

The big question, however, is: Couldnât my friend have achieved the same result with just an iPad and Velcro? He paid thousands extra for the âin-vehicle infotainmentâ (IVI) system: two screens in the back to stream content, one up front for navigation, Pandora, etc. Custom navigation? Great, but it will quickly get out of date since thereâs no way to update software over his hotspot connection. Pandora? Nice, but I prefer Mog â and unlike with mobile devices, I canât choose my in-car apps: Itâs not a computer (yet). And who knows what options Iâll prefer as the market and technology changes.

Read more at Wired

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