Communications posts on CNET - Page 11


Kinect in the car? It's coming

Microsoft placed a want ad for a software engineer with its Connected Car QA team to aid in the development and testing of the next-generation connected car platform. Based on the job description on Microsoft's Web site, it looks like the technology giant has embedded every product it offers in the dash:

For the next generation of the Connected Car Platform, we plan to leverage the full power of the Microsoft ecosystem including Kinect, Windows 8, Windows Phone, Windows Live, Bing, Azure, and Tellme. The combination of rich local sensing, user identification, cloud access, and data mining will transform … Read more

Want Siri Eyes Free integration now? Get MediaBridge

Even if you don't plan on buying a new car any time soon to take advantage of Apple's upcoming Eyes Free feature, you may still be able to get Siri in your car. Aftermarket electronics supplier Dice Electronics says that its MediaBridge component already has the capability to integrate Siri with some vehicles' electronics systems.

MediaBridge is a plug-and-play Bluetooth-enabled hardware "black box" that integrates Apple products with the vehicle's existing head unit. The device adds Bluetooth and streaming to the audio system, and in some cars, lets you access Siri with steering wheel controls. … Read more

Apple's Eyes Free coming to Chevy Spark, Sonic

Apple announced last week at the 2012 WWDC that many automakers have signed on to integrate Apple's Siri in their vehicles, but few have said which cars or when. However, two compacts from General Motors may be among the first to include the new "Eyes Free" feature in its vehicles, reports blog GM Authority.

The Chevrolet Spark and Chevrolet Sonic will be the first GM vehicles to get this latest infotainment feature. The two vehicles are already available with MyLink, an infotainment system that integrates with the driver's smartphone. MyLink leverages the handset's Internet connection … Read more

Spansion, Nuance announce Acoustic Coprocessor for automotive voice recognition

SAN FRANCISCO--In-car voice recognition technology has come a long way, but there's much room for improvement. One problem voice-recognition technology faces is that is that there's only so much memory and processing power available in the dashboard at any given time, which has to be shared with navigation, media playback, traffic data, and other infotainment functions. Spansion, a company best known for providing flash memory products to OEMs, thinks it has the solution in its newly unveiled Spansion Acoustic Coprocessor, claimed to be the first of its kind.

The Spansion Acoustic Coprocessor is basically a system on a … Read more

What can Bluetooth do besides make calls? (ABCs of Car Tech)

Most of us can agree now that Bluetooth connectivity is something that every tech car should have, but why is it important? Is it enough for a car to simply support Bluetooth or is there something more that you should be looking for?

In this week's ABCs of Car Tech, I'll do my best to answer those questions and explain the ins and outs of Bluetooth wireless technology.

What is Bluetooth? When most people hear the word "Bluetooth," they immediately think about speakerphones and wireless headsets for hands-free calling. That's partially correct in that these … Read more

Apple fans, don't expect a Siri button in your car anytime soon

Among the deluge of new features Apple talked up in the keynote for WWDC, integrating Siri with cars, in conjunction with automakers such as BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Audi, Honda, and GM, generated a lot of buzz. Siri has proved a popular voice command feature in the latest iOS, and so naturally users would want that functionality integrated into their cars.

But, knowing how the auto industry works, I was skeptical about a number of aspects of this announcement. I could not believe automakers would actually put dedicated buttons just for Siri in their cars. They would also not necessarily want to … Read more

What Siri's 'Eyes Free' feature means for cars

One of the newest Siri features isn't for the iPhone, but for vehicles that will integrate this natural language voice command service.

Apple announced today at its annual developer's conference, WWDC 2012, that several automakers have signed on to implement Siri's "Eyes Free" feature in their vehicles. BMW, General Motors, Toyota, Mercedes-Benz, Honda, and Audi will enable drivers to integrate Siri with their vehicle's electronics system, and access the mobile assistant using a steering wheel button.

From the photo shown during the keynote address, it appears Siri--or Siri-like technology--could get its own button on … Read more

Lamborghini unveils $2,296 Android tablet, gold-plated phone

These are some seriously fast phones -- and we're not talking processor speeds. Check out the new line of luxury phones from Lamborghini, with supercar styling -- and supercar prices.

Russian site reports that Lamborgini has revved up two new feature phones, and an Android smartphone and tablet. And when we say supercar styling, we're not talking understated. Read on at Crave UK for the details of these ostentatious Androids.… Read more

Which of these Bluetooth speakerphones sounds the best? (comparison)

Most phones sold these days have a speakerphone mode. This setting is usually good enough for an impromptu hands-free call in a quiet office. However, when you get on the road in a noisy car, the phone's flaws are made apparent. For example, the built-in microphone can be less than ideal for canceling the levels of road and wind noise present in a car at highway speed, which leads to poor quality on the receiving end of your calls. I'm sure that you dislike repeating yourself to callers as much as I do, so let's look at how to improve call quality.

Visor-mounted Bluetooth speakerphones feature more sophisticated microphones with noise and echo-cancellation technology located closer to your head, which can dramatically improve sound quality. How much of an improvement should you expect? I've recorded outbound calls from five speakerphones (and my test phone's internal microphone) to demonstrate. … Read more

QNX's Jeep Wrangler sends its playlist to Facebook

A Jeep Wrangler owned by QNX Software Systems let the world know, via its Facebook page, that it was playing Iggy Pop's "Passenger" on its stereo. Beyond demonstrating its good taste in music, this Jeep was showing off the capabilities of QNX's Car 2 application platform for the attendees of the Telematics Update show in Detroit this week.

Unless you work with embedded systems, you probably have not heard of QNX, but if your car has iPod integration it is likely QNX software enables that feature. Although QNX can provide piecemeal solutions for automotive systems, the … Read more