Currently, the only way we can listen to the radio in our cars in Malaysia is through traditional AM/FM players. With so many internet radio and music streaming applications available to the public, people are often forced to use their smartphones and other mobile devices in their cars to listen to the music and channels they want. However, car manufacturers are looking into ways in which they can include all these streaming apps into their vehicles.
With these embeddable apps, drivers will not have to look at their mobile devices and get distracted while driving. As a result, at the New York Consumer Electronics Week in 2013, experts in the auto industry agreed that the future of radio in automobiles lay in embeddable apps.
Obstacles to Embeddable ‘Radio’ Apps
Embeddable apps may take a few more years to get installed in vehicles. Although major American telecommunication companies, like Verizon, Sprint, and AT&T, have expressed an interest in offering and even developing such apps, there are a few problems.
The first is issue is design. The embeddable apps should be designed in such a way so that drivers are not distracted while changing channels and music options. Also, users should also be able to add and remove apps whenever they feel like, and installation of new apps should be smooth.
Price is another issue. Users do not have to pay for embeddable apps later on. Apps are constantly changing with new versions and new apps being released very frequently. People will want radio services to be included in the initial price. This is why BMW is offering 10 years of connected services in the price tag of its 2014 cars. This means that users will be able to upgrade to the latest radio embeddable apps even if their cars are a few years old.
These ‘Radio’ Apps Should Understand Voice Commands
To make the embeddable apps as hands-free as possible and to increase the safety of drivers, many experts believe that voice recognition and commands technology should be part of these embeddable radio apps. Instead of having to reach out to the dashboard, drivers can tell the dashboard to change stations, get more information on traffic and tune into favorite programs without taking their eyes off the road.
Similar technology is already being tested by BMW that allows users to touch the steering wheel when they want to access Google Search with voice commands. They can also get more information regarding directions with voice commands.
It seems like BMW is already at the forefront as it has experimented with various technologies to keep drivers more connected to the Internet.
Current BMW cars already allow drivers to access and use Facebook and Twitter, eliminating the need for drivers to look at their phones and preventing them from getting distracted.
If these embeddable apps can be as unobtrusive as possible, then they could become immensely successful. Embeddable radio apps could be a huge bonus to the automobile entertainment industry and could even be used in other forms of transportation. Music streaming providers like Pandora are already working on developing apps and software that could be used inside cars to bring content to drivers.
Could embeddable radio apps offer a huge entertainment boost for passengers sitting in the endless traffic jams in Kuala Lumpur? Only time will tell.
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