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 carâ€™s 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.
In this brave new world, connectivity is king. The engine is almost an afterthought.
The big question, however, is: Couldnâ€™t my friend have achieved the same result with just an iPad and Velcro? He paid thousands extra for the â€œin-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 Great, but it will quickly get out of date since thereâ€™s no way to update software over his hotspot connection. Pandora? Nice, but I prefer Mog â€“ and unlike with mobile devices, I canâ€™t choose my in-car apps: Itâ€™s not a computer (yet). And who knows what options Iâ€™ll prefer as the market and technology changes.
Read more at Wired.