04 maggio 2011

MINI Connected e iPhone, diventa social la Web car radio della BMW

Si arricchisce di nuove funzionalità orientate al social networking, all'analisi della guida e alla musica l'offerta di MINI Connected, una app per iPhone che rappresenta la centralina di comando di diverse funzionalità di entertainment, navigazione e ricezione di Web radio a bordo della vettura commercializzata dal gruppo BMW. La rivista EE Times offre una descrizione dettagliata delle nuove funzionalità della app, la 2.0, rilasciata a fine aprile. Tra queste novità da segnalare Dynamic Music, l'integrazione di Twitter e Facebook e un sofisticato Mission Control:

To use the MINI Connected App, owners need to specify their MINI with the MINI Visual Boost radio or MINI navigation system, plus the MINI Connected option. Functions integrated into the car via iPhone can be operated using the joystick, the steering wheel buttons or the on-board monitor. The latest version of the MINI Connected App allows the latest functions to be transferred into the car, the vehicle company says.
Among the functions unique in the MINI segment are access to the Google local search and Google Send to Car services and reception of user-definable RSS news feeds, the content of which are displayed on the on-board monitor and can be read out using the optional voice output function. Added to which MINI enables the use of web-based social networks in the car.
MINI Connected customers can receive Facebook and Twitter posts inside the car, display them on the on-board monitor and have them read out using the optional MINI Connected voice output function. In the same way, preformatted text messages can be sent out directly from the car using either service - for the sake of safety, drivers unfortunately have to content themselves with a selection of some 15 most-used phrases, a BMW spokesperson explained.
Another new feature, the Dynamic Music function, contains a selection of exclusively composed music which can be played back through the audio system of the MINI. These pieces of music, composed in real time during the ride, adapt their rhythm and dynamic flow according to the driving style. The driver can choose from a wide variety of tracks and genres using the on-board monitor and joystick. The desired sound is then modulated according to factors including the car's longitudinal and lateral acceleration.
MINI Connected customers can also use an iPhone to activate the Mission Control function. Another feature of the new MINI Connected App, this service offers a further in-car entertainment option to make driving fun even more varied.
Mission Control analyses numerous signals relating to the vehicle, the driving situation and the vehicle's surroundings to provide the driver with relevant information and advice, all generated in dialogue form. These dialogues are based, among other things, on input regarding safety and comfort settings – ranging from a request that the driver and passengers buckle up their seat belts to instructions on the use of the air conditioning system – and also incorporate up-to-date information on driving conditions and the current status of the vehicle, such as the outside temperature and the amount of fuel in the tank.
The system's pool of comments ensures variety in the interaction between the MINI and its driver, even when situations on the road recur on a daily basis. And now the MINI Connected App gives the Mission Control function's repertoire two different angles. The range of advice can be varied by the driver as desired.
The on-board technology assesses a variety of vehicle data during a journey, allowing tips to be passed on to drivers while they are at the wheel to help them reduce fuel consumption. The MINIMALISM Analyser also gives MINI drivers the option of swapping information with fellow owners to draw up an efficiency ranking list. The tips generated by Mission Control to promote an extremely efficiency-focused driving style take an entertaining route to helping drivers improve their position on the MINIMALISM Ranking list.

Presentata nell'estate del 2010, la piattaforma iPhone (ma BMW afferma di volersi allargare anche ad altri dispositivi mobili smart) MINI Connected richiede l'installazione della opzione MINI Connected (SA6NM) a bordo dell'auto e uno dei due dispositivi da cruscotto predisposti per questa tecnologia: o la Radio MINI Visual Boost (SA6FP) o il MINI Navigation System(SA606). Informazioni dettagliate (ma in lingua inglese, dove lo stesso sito italiano della MINI rimanda) si trovano sulle pagine di MINI Connectivity. Dynamic Music è, insieme a Web Radio, una delle due funzioni audio disponibili. Con Web Radio, Visual Boost si trasforma in un sistema car radio capace di sintonizzarsi, attraverso la connettività 3G assicurata da iPhone, sulle migliaia di stazioni in streaming del classificate nella directory Radio Time (oggi ribattezzata TuneIn.com).

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