Windows of Opportunity Weekly Brief—1.23.12

Windows of Opportunity Weekly Brief—1.23.12

In this week's Brief: GM, Mercedes-Benz, Alpine Electronics, Chleon Automotive, Accenture, Delphi, JVC Mobile Entertainment, Berg Insight, and IMS Research

General Motors unveiled the Windows of Opportunity Project, a research and development pursuit to turn rear windows into interactive displays.

GM has no immediate plans to implement the solution but has announced a number of experimental apps, like “Foofu,” an app that allows passengers to create, explore and discover through finger drawing on window steam.

Last year Toyota announced a similar concept called Window to the World.

“We see an opportunity to provide a technology interface designed specifically for rear seat passengers,” says Tom Seder, GM R&D lab group manager for human-machine interface.

“Advanced windows that are capable of responding to vehicle speed and location could augment real world views with interactive enhancements to provide entertainment and educational value.”

Mercedes-Benz set its long-term sights on the Dynamic & Intuitive Control Experience (DICE), a series of proximity sensors that would detect hand motions in the interior of the vehicle and allow drivers to scroll, select and control a variety of functions.

Mercedes acknowledges that the system is still theoretical and may be several decades in the making.

One of the chief challenges is how to differentiate specific movements from random motions of the driver not intended to convey commands.

Alpine Electronics and Chleon Automotive formed a strategic partnership to develop a next-generation connected in-vehicle infotainment system, which will enable direct connectivity to internet cloud networking through an integrated communication module.

Chleon will provide the Application Management platform, which Alpine will integrate to its in-vehicle infotainment unit.

Accenture debuted a Connected Vehicle Integrated Solution that aims to make it easier for OEMs to design and integrate in-vehicle infotainment technologies such as on-board devices, telematics and mobile connectivity. 

Accenture estimates that in-vehicle infotainment could give OEMs up to $200 in added revenues per car in mature markets every year as drivers and passengers increase their use of the new technologies.

Delphi announced work on a wireless charging system for consumer devices that will automatically transfer power to mobile electronic devices.

A magnetic field from a source resonator in the vehicle provides power to the devices, enabling in-vehicle, high efficiency device charging that is safe for humans without the hassle of chords or connections.

No word on when the system will be market-ready.

JVC Mobile Entertainment upgraded its Advanced External mode to “App Link” Mode, which offers enhanced connectivity for improved in-vehicle experience.

In App Link mode, the head unit offers simultaneous playback and display of App data on the receiver’s screen.

App Link mode is included in four new multimedia units, starting at $429.95.

Growing shipments of PNDs in markets like Brazil, China, India and Russia will not compensate for the decline of PND shipments in Europe and North America, according to new research from Berg Insight.

Global shipments of PNDs declined to roughly 33 million units in 2011, mostly due to increasing competition from smartphones and low-cost in-dash navigation systems.

IMS Research published a report that suggests shipments of aftermarket navigation head units in China have reached their apogee and will fall from nearly four million units in 2012 to 1.8 million units in 2018.

Over the same period market revenues are forecast to shrink by two thirds. IMS attributes the decline in large part to the rise of smartphones in Chinese culture.


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