Google’s algorithmically-driven cars may be partially designed to give commuters more time to surf the Internet (using Google, natch!), but if a new report from ABI Research is anything to go by, it’s Apple who have the real early adopter advantage in terms of connected in-vehicle infotainment systems.
ABI Research forecasts that shipments of such infotainment systems, equipped with one or more smartphone integration technologies, will grow substantially over the next five years — reaching 35.1 million units globally by 2018. Of these, ABI projects an impressive 49.8% will be running Apple’s “iOS in the Car”, the standard for allowing iOS devices to work with manufacturers’ built-in in-car systems as unveiled during the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference back in June.
Just like those isolated soldiers that used to be discovered from time to time thinking that WWII was still on, years after it had ended, there’s a designer hidden deep in the offices of Porsche who thinks we still need to use USB thumb drives. Yes, it looks beautiful, just like Hiroo Onoda’s doubtlessly crisply-pressed uniform, but that doesn’t make it right.
At this point, 2K Games is the most hotly anticipated iOS game publisher in existence. They’ve done huge things on the iPad, like bringing a full-on console game to the iPad with XCOM: Enemy Unknown and helping develop legend Sid Meier’s latest strategy game, Ace Patrol — which just happens to be iPad-only. Now it looks like they’re set to take the whole iPad auto-racing genre and blow it out of the water with their latest project, 2K Drive, developed by Lucid Games.
Take a look at the latest developer’s diary teaser clip (above), with its crazy soccer ball-dribbling driving, Bonneville Salt Flats land-speed record car and a Mazda Miata driving on what looks like a wooden roller-coaster platform, and you’ll see what I mean.
One of the most hopeful promises of augmented reality is that it will eventually help us understand the world immediately around us. I’ve always thought one of the best uses of AR technology in this respect was its application to cars: Pan your phone or tablet across an engine bay, for instance, and an AR app will tell you where to put oil or coolant, or which bolts to remove in order to access the battery.
Audi brought us a little closer to this (augmented) reality today with the release of an AR companion app, using technology from German-based AR powerhouse Metaio, for its entry-level A3 that explains features in the cabin and engine bay.
Back In The Day™, when men were men, cars were cars and boys were forced to work to support their families before their stupid brains were even half developed, we fixed automobiles by kicking their tires and sucking our teeth.
Fast forward to the Space Year 2013 and cars now repair themselves. All you have to do is take it to a repair shop, where they plug it into a computer which sucks the money from your bank account while you take a spin in a “courtesy” car.
But what if you want to tinker? If you own a Ford and an iPad, and don’t mind getting your hands (literally) dirty, then you’ll be happy to hear that there’s a (concept) app for that.
As I never tire of telling people, I do all my work using an iPad. Research, communication, writing and photo editing – all of these are now second nature for me on both the iPad mini and the full-sized iPad 3. I love the portability, I love the stripped-down “workflow” which lets me get stuff done way faster than I can on the Mac, mostly due to lack of OS X’s inherent distractions.
In fact, I am so happy with the iPad as a work machine that I thought that I’d never buy another Mac. I figured that, by the time my iMac died, iOS would have caught up with most of the “truck” tasks I still need to do: keeping a big photo library, running a BitTorrent client.
So why am I writing this post on a brand-new MacBook Air? One thing: My arm is fucking killing me.
Despite the fact that you’ll probably end up killing someone because of it, you’re going to keep using your phone in the car. With this in mind, I bring tidings of the Airframe from Kenu, a tiny smartphone mount which clips to the louvers of your car’s ventilation holes and hugs the phone tightly. The idea is that your iPhone is now secure and convenient, making it less likely that you’ll mow down a cyclist while you try to compose a Tweet.
LAS VEGAS, CES 2013 – By now it should be obvious to anyone that doing pretty much anything besides actually driving while driving is inherently dangerous — more so when a hand is taken off the wheel, and even more so when focus is split between driving and a phone screen.
Automatica is a very clever take on in-car audio. It’s a USB stick which grabs new audio content whenever it is in range of a known Wi-Fi network, and it can be managed right from your iPhone via a custom web app.
I remain firmly of the opinion that a driver should drive, and not sip coffee, or listen to the radio, or text his lover, or use cruise-control. As a cyclist, I rely on the pilots of these road-going behemoths to pay attention to the road in order for me to remain alive.
So I have mixed feelings about a gadget which puts a cellphone within such easy reach.