Car manufacturers are experimenting with technology nowadays. Mini for example has the iPhone or iPod Touch integrated in the HiFi system. Apple has been talking to the car manufacturing industry, so the rumour goes. TomTom, the navigation software specialist has made deals to be pre-installed in cars from, I believe, Renault. But does your car need to be connected, or do you need to connect tot the car?
That last idea, you, being your mobile device, are connected to the internet and carry all of your songs and photos. Your car can connect through Bluetooth (e.g. 4.0) with your phone and act as an extension. On the other hand, your music, photos and what not will move more and more to the cloud. This means your car can connect via the internet to your personal cloud environment and play the music you want. Would be a bit difficult if you drive through a long tunnel somewhere in the Swiss Alp. Nor do the roaming costs in a foreign country appeal for this kind of usage. The Dutch EU commissioner Neelie Kroes is working hard to legislate the absurd high roaming charges (read).
Back to cars. If car manufacturers would adopt a standard connection for mobile devices, they can focus on the car itself and the interior design. I call for a giant touchscreen like in the Tesla Model S. Oh an while you’re at it, do all install solar photovoltaics in the roof. The future of cars will be more and more digital, causing also new software problems. The Fisker Karma had a problem after launch. Planes which have gone to electrical wiring for their in flight controls can also face this problem. With cars this phenomenon is not new, the Renault Laguna was reported to have them, the Toyota Prius and probably many more. Software is always human written, and mistakes are human… we just have to live with it.
Bluetooth, a very useful technology. Though its not getting most attention, and that’s about to change. Apple recently introduced Bluetooth 4.0 in the new Macbook Air & Mini. This version is developed by the Dutchmen Jaap Haartsen. It’s faster, less power-consuming, which makes it a real alternative to NFC.
Near-Field-Communication (NFC) is a technology which we encounter in public transport chip cards for example, you hold your ‘unit’ in a range of 20cm of the receiver and information is being exchanged. With the new Bluetooth 4.0 this will be possible in a range of 50 meters. And because of the low-power consumption it is possible to equip coin-cell devices with it. Now your Bluetooth-headset doesn’t have to be changed that often. The data-rate is 1 Mb/s, that’s more than twice the rate of NFC (424 kbit/s).
Apple joined the Bluetooth SIG (Special Interest Group) board of directors in June. Will Apple be working on their own alternative of NFC? Will you be able to use your iPhone to exchange business cards wireless, or pay in the store? We know Apple is always aiming to provide better service than already available (Think avoiding Flash..).
What do you think?