The time has come where things like horsepower and how well a car does on fuel are nowhere near as important as they used to be. What’s taking the place of these former selling points? There’s no doubt at all it’s connectivity. The age of car infotainment has just begun and expect it to expand and expand fast. What does the future hold for infotainment and in-car entertainment? Great question. Let’s take a look.
New Smoothly Designed Apps
All of the major car companies are investing seriously in the area of app development and for good reason. The better the apps become the more interest the consumer is going to have in infotainment without any doubt. Not only are companies like Ford and GM continuing their in house research and development, but they all are also working with outside firms to come up with the next big thing. Expect to see major releases in the next year or two as the car companies battle to establish who has the “must have” infotainment app. Can this sway someone’s choice when they make the big decision of what new car to buy? A few years ago this idea would have raised eyebrows, now it’s something that’s very likely to be a real factor fast!
What direction are these apps likely to take? Think Siri, where a car will act as a digital personal assistant on voice command for its driver. This is clearly something people want, and will get sooner rather than later.
Expect many apps to be geared towards specific local markets as developers pair up with car companies to offer localized infotainment on a regional basis. This model has been followed by things like Pandora in the past successfully and leaves both the car company and the developers of the app in win / win positions.
The Connected Car
The connected car with the driver in the center of a sort of electronic “ecosystem” is what the consumer desires and exactly what they will get in the coming year and beyond. With a smart phone acting as an interface between the driver and vehicle social media like Facebook and Twitter will soon join in on the driving experience. The challenge, which is being considered and met by developers is how to balance this connectivity with the overwhelming importance of the driver’s safety. No one wants something similar to the problems of texting while driving to rise and effect the ever expanding infotainment and in-car entertainment market. Forward thinking and awareness of this risk seems likely to make the connected car as safe as possible. As more and more progress is made in voice to text recognition programs Facebook posts and Twitter tweets will become a quick reality without any need for the driver to take their hands off the wheel at all as an effective remedy for these possible concerns.
We can also expect to see traffic data to be worked into vehicles social networking giving real time data on road conditions, weather and so on. This blend of social media with things more relevant to a driver should prove to be both interesting and informative and offer real improvements to the driving experience.
Apple and Infotainment and In-car Entertainment
In a move that is sure to send a chill up the spine of all their competition Apple has made it clear they are entering the infotainment and in-car entertainment fray full force. If this isn’t a clear sign that infotainment is the future nothing is. Apple’s wish to turn cars into another platform for their software isn’t completely being met with open arms. Many companies have invested a great deal of time and money in developing their own platform and the idea of Apple steam rolling in is facing some resistance. The safe money says, however, when given the chance to integrate their iPhone, iPad and automobile infotainment it will be tough for the consumer to pass up. The power of Apples name represents a true juggernaut as does their history of success regardless of the avenue. This development will play a huge role in the future of infotainment and makes it more exciting than ever.
What does the future hold for infotainment and in-car entertainment? Big, big things. This is a great time for those involved in infotainment as a business or who have an interest in it as a consumer. The next year or two will likely change the way we view driving for good and for the better. Voice recognition, smart windshields and car social media here we come!