Mobile app overhaul Weekly Brief—5.21.2012

Mobile app overhaul Weekly Brief—5.21.2012

In this week's Brief: Hyundai, Telmap, Wikitude, Spectrum Interactive, Selective Media, ABI Research, Garmin, TomTom, FIJUTSU TEN, Uno Minda, and Audi

Hyundai's Blue Link telematics platform got a facelift with a new mobile app that allows subscribers to remotely access various Blue Link features and services through compatible mobile devices.

A new user experience leverages familiar smartphone touch commands and includes a swipe carousel and shortcut buttons. Remote features include remote door lock and unlock, remote horn and lights, and remote vehicle start.

Google Android and Apple iOS users can download the app today from Google Play or Apple iTunes, respectively. A Blackberry version is also in development.

"We looked at how our customers use their smartphones to enhance various aspects of their lives," says Michael Deitz, senior group manager, Blue Link.

Telmap released a new version of its Telmap Navigator mobile app that allows Blackberry users to turn their devices into a local search, mapping and navigation system.

The app includes in-car navigation with 3D moving maps, voice-guided instructions, a dedicated pedestrian navigation mode, and a postcode business and address search that’s specially tailored for U.K. users.

Users can download Telmap Navigator for free on Blackberry’s AppWorld.

Augmented reality start-up Wikitude released a software development kit that allows developers to integrate augmented reality into native web browsers for the first time. Augmented reality features typically rely on special AR apps (developed by the likes of Wikitude) to appear on smartphones.

With the kit, developers can integrate AR into their native browsers. For instance, a developer can take geotagged information from friends in Twitter or Facebook and overlay that information directly onto an ordinary webpage. The software development kit is currently available for iOS and Android.

Spectrum Interactive, the U.K.’s leading independent provider of Wi-Fi, teamed up with location-based media company, Selective Media, to launch a media platform that provides mobile vouchers for nearby shops offered through free public Wi-Fi hotspots.

That’s a Wi-Fi first in the U.K. The service will grant free access to users in exchange for selecting a free promotional offer from one of the service’s brand and advertising partners.

The new service will initially be made available across Spectrum’s “FREE Street WiFi” network.

ABI Research forecasts that the total in-car navigation market is set to grow with a CAGR of 25.9 percent over the next five years as it rapidly diverges into smartphone-based applications and dedicated in-car solutions.

Regarding the in-car segment of the market, factory-installed automotive navigation solutions will surpass PND shipments by 2015, reaching 25 million units. ABI suggests that the two biggest PND makers, Garmin and TomTom, are adjusting well by announcing a series of line-fitted and semi-integrated navigation solutions, which are suited to the mass market, mid-tier ranges, where the low cost offered by these solutions will be a differentiator.

Companies in Japan and India announced a collaboration to bring new in-car infotainment products to market. Japanese automobile component manufacturer FUJITSU TEN and Indian auto components manufacturer Uno Minda will establish the new manufacturing and sales joint venture companies in India.

The infotainment products will focus specifically on the Indian market, whose auto industry is one of the fastest growing globally. The JV plans to produce infotainment products such as CD Tuners, Display Audios, AVNs and Speakers and will start in October 2013.

Audi says that its new A3 comes comprehensively networked with “Audi connect” and driver assistance systems. Audi connect covers all applications and developments that network the car with its owner, the Internet, infrastructure and other vehicles.

To access the new Audi connect services, A3 customers have a variety of optional infotainment systems to choose from. The top system is MMI navigation plus, which includes a seven-inch monitor and new user control concept with a touch-based rotary pushbutton.

Driver assistance in the car ranges from adaptive cruise control to park assist and the Audi pre sense basic safety system.


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