At this year's CES, Harman International's Aha announced a partnership with Honda. Today Honda hosted a conference showing how that partnership would play out with a new service called HondaLink. This new connected service will let drivers listen to a variety of Internet-based stations, featuring everything from Slacker radio to Yelp listings of nearby restaurants.… Read more
Social media services and applications are always trying to make everything link together for our "convenience." Unfortunately, what's convenient for some is a nightmare for others, especially in the case of linking two large social media accounts together.
Linking Skype and Facebook allows you to see wall posts in the Skype Home window, which can be responded to and liked. But if this is a bit of information overload after a recent link of the two, unlinking them can be done in just a few steps on both services. Here's how to get started:For Skype … Read more
In recent years, BMW and Audi have emerged as technological juggernauts, pushing cutting-edge new cabin electronics in their cars. Today BMW announced a bundle of new features for its cars that trumps Audi in some ways, and plays catch-up in others.
The most obvious change we will see comes next year, with a new iDrive controller that BMW calls iDrive Touch. It uses the familiar dial/joystick hybrid on the console, and adds a touch pad to its top. With this touch pad, drivers can trace letters and numbers to input addresses into the navigation system. iDrive Touch also supports … Read more
You only need to look at a smartphone to realize the usefulness of an Internet connection in a car. And the advent of smartphones is playing a big part in getting automakers to integrate connected features. People used to looking up an address on a smartphone can now do it right in their car's dashboard, and save that address to the navigation system. Other apps that can come in handy on the road, as deemed by these automakers, bring up Internet radio, social networking, and dinner reservations.… Read more
U.S. Army, welcome to the future.
If you happen to be in Farnborough, London, this week, you'll be able to see a demo of an Army pilot geared in the latest in wearable military technology -- a portable computing device that fits in a pocket and a display panel that can be strapped to a soldier's wrist.
The entire Aviation Warrior (yes, that's what it is called) system -- which includes a helmet equipped with a flip-down viewing monocle and taps into the cockpit's digital display -- may seem like something that belongs in Battlestar … Read more
When fines and warnings don't work, police may want to consider another tactic to stop distracted driving: confiscate mobile devices.
Thanks to a new law in Cape Town, South Africa, police have started confiscating mobile phones of motorists caught talking or texting while driving, reports the Cape Times. It's legal for motorists to use hands-free devices to operate mobile phones, but using handheld phones behind the wheel can result in a 500 Rand ($60) fine, or up to three years in jail, or both. However, officials say they give out 8,000 fines each month, and haven't … Read more
Your car's dashboard is probably home to a speedometer, a tachometer, a fuel gauge, and -- if you're lucky -- a coolant temperature gauge. However, your car's electronic brain (ECU) is actively monitoring dozens of parameters behind the scenes that you, the driver, could find useful. This is where diagnostics hardware and apps like Torque Pro and Lite for Android step in, putting all of that data at your fingertips.
Torque doesn't require anything more than the hardware already present on your Android phone to function. Without any external hardware, Torque can still pull sensor data … Read more
As manufacturers figure out how to integrate mobile phone applications with vehicle infotainment systems, Mercedes-Benz decided to cut the middle man out of the picture by opening its own app shop, and let customers download applications directly to their car.
The Mercedes-Benz App Store opened last week, a company spokesperson confirmed in an e-mail. The new online app store will let customers browse for new applications to add to their vehicle's Comand infotainment system. Google Search, Weather, Facebook are standard apps on this system, and Yahoo should be added later this year. Using their phone's Internet connection, they … Read more
One of my favorite convenience features for cars is smart keyless entry and start. This transponder-based system lets you unlock your doors by simply approaching the car, touching the door, and pushing the starter button -- no fumbling with the key fob required thanks to RFID technology.
Ford thinks that if this sort of walk up and unlock technology is good for your car, it should also be good for your laptop, which is why it's announced its Ford Keyfree Login software. After downloading and installing the Chrome extension onto a laptop or desktop computer that features Bluetooth connectivity, … Read more
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