Acura concept cars: Acura Future Vehicles

Check out Acura's new "Future Vehicles" site, which goes through some pretty futuristic concept car designs.  Totally looks inspired by the batmobile to me.  Acura goes through the process of how they plan these cars, from clay models, to CAD renderings, etc.  Will Bluetooth be long gone by the time these beauties come out?

Acura Future Vehicles

January 15, 2007 in In General | Permalink | Comments (6) | TrackBack

NYT article on BT in cars

Thanks to a couple readers for pointing out this New York Times article on Bluetooth integration into cars.  The article points out the compatibility problems brough about by not agreeing on which profiles will be supported but offers hope that a standard is being created.

May 4, 2005 in In General | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Bluetooth Cars at CTIA

Jaguar_ctiaI went to the CTIA Wireless show in New Orleans last week - and Nokia, Sony Ericsson, and Motorola all had exhibits on bluetooth integration with cars and motorcycles.

This is a shot from the Motorola booth where they had one of the new Jaguars with integrated Motorola Bluetooth exhibited for all to see.  They also had their various motorcycle helmets about for people to look at and try out.

All this points to more and more uptake of Bluetooth technology into automobiles.  I'm hoping this will drive more standardization and compatibility in the marketplace over the next year.

March 21, 2005 in In General | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Q: Is it true that GSM phones only allow one phone number per address book entry?

Q: Is it true that GSM phones only allow one phone number per address book entry?

A:  Yes and No.   I get this question a lot as it stems from Sprint PCS customers who wish to switch to a network with a better choice of HFL compatible phones, and also from Lexus owners who are up in arms about not being able to transfer all their contact's phone number to their car system.

GSM phones (and CDMA phones in China) are built upon the Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) card which is mostly used to store the address book and phone number associated with your service, but can also do a lot more.   in Europe, it was pretty common a few years ago to deploy small applications on the SIM as well.

Well, the way GSM phones originally implemented the address book application was soley on the SIM (not in the phone's memory) and to indeed to only allow a one-to-one mapping between an address book entry and that person's phone number.   This means you could not  store "Mom" with a mobile, home, and work number, you had to create three separate entries for Mom mobile, Mom home, and Mom work.

For backward compatibility reasons, this limitation still exists today on GSM phones for storing your address book on the SIM.  This is really useful if you move your SIM from phone to phone, which is extremely common in Europe.

However, pretty much since GSM made a national splash in the U.S. (via Voicestream, which is not T-Mobile) - GSM phones have also allowed the address book to be stored in both the phone's memory AND the SIM card.  Most manufacturers of GSM phones these days allow you to store multiple phone numbers per entry on the phone itself, and these numbers are only copied to the SIM for the power user, and other people who need to move their SIM from phone to phone, which is not so common in the U.S.

In short, if you are moving from Sprint to Cingular, you will be able to keep up your address book lifestyle on your phone.

February 7, 2005 in In General | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

And the 17 manufacturers are...

Thanks again to Patrick at TRG for providing this data - here is the actual list of manufacturers who are providing Bluetooth connectivity in their auotmobiles.  I get asked lot about Mercedes, and notice they are not on the list.

2004 these seven brands offered Bluetooth

  • Acura
  • BMW
  • Chrysler
  • Dodge
  • Jeep
  • Lexus
  • Lincoln

In 2005 these seventeen brands offer or will offer Bluetooth

  • Acura
  • Audi
  • BMW
  • Buick
  • Chrysler
  • Dodge
  • Ford (dealer installed option)
  • Infiniti
  • Jaguar
  • Jeep
  • Land Rover
  • Lexus
  • Lincoln
  • Mitsubishi
  • Toyota
  • Volkswagen
  • Volvo (late 05)

January 26, 2005 in In General | Permalink | Comments (10) | TrackBack

17 Manufacturers to depoly Bluetooth in 2005 model year

Thanks to Telematics Research Group, Inc. for sending me their press release on  Backseat Entertainment, Navigation, and Bluetooth Become Leading Features for 2005 Model Year [PDF].  It's a good read and there's some really good information contained within.

Notably, that 17 Manufacturers are shipping Bluetooth in the 2005 model year compared to 7 in the 2004 model year.

Also notable is the amount of aftermarket demand and product releases that caused the manufacturers to wake up and realize they were leaving money on the table.

TRG has a lot of other related news on their site that is worth checking out, and some really good data that is hard to find.

January 24, 2005 in In General | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Verizon and Bluetooth

One of the questions I seem to get asked once a day is "I have Verizon service, what Bluetooth phone can I use?  I hear there are problems wth the Motorola V710."

In my other weblog, I cover why not to expect many Bluetooth handsets from Verizon Wireless in the near future.  It's a bit on the technical side, but if you are interested, give it a read.

I know many of you have a V710, and have been frustrated with the incompatibilities with most ringtones and the HFL, which doesn't seem to be covered in the class action lawsuit i mention i that post, but either way Verizon probably wishes they never got involved in this mess to begin with.

The next Bluetooth handset that will probably make it onto VzW sooner or later is the LG-VX8100 - so they will probably wait for this all to blow over before introducing that handset.

January 14, 2005 in In General | Permalink | Comments (19) | TrackBack

Edmunds' explains Bluetooth in cars

Edmunds does a good job of explaining what Bluetooth is and how it is integrated in to autos and motocycles in this feature.  They leave out some of the complexity of explaining that all Bluetooth phones are not created equal, and that only some handsets will work with cars, but that of course is not the intention of the article.

They expect to see more BT in the 2006 models, and so do I.

January 14, 2005 in In General | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Nokia system with Ford/Nissan supports viewing text messages

In a bit of news itself, DMEurope has a story on how Nokia has partnered with both Nissan and Ford to embed their Bluetooth car kits into the European Nissan Primera and the Ford Focus respectively.

If you read this weblog regularly, you know that Bluetooth integration is getting more and more common, but what piqued my interest here was that Nokia has put in a feature I have been evangelizing for a long time: reading incoming text messages on the display. Not having to fumble for your phone to read an incoming message is a killer feature - probably more so in Europe than NA, but exciting nonetheless. Let's hope that feature makes it over here.

November 21, 2004 in In General | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Bluetooth connectivity and buying decisions

One of the things that simply amazes me is the amount of email i get where people are making a decision on which car (and phone, for that matter) to buy based on the Bluetooth connectivity, how well it works, and compatibility with their network provider. this is huge!

I get people asking me not only which cars are outfitted at the factory, but which models can be enhanced by aftermarket kits, and quite a few "Does bluetooth work better on the Acuras or Lexus?" Let me reiterate, people are deciding on a $35-60K purchase based on how well Bluetooth works. Bluetooth connectivity in a car is definitely a differentiator...Honda, Toyota, are you listening?

I'll be glad to respond with what i know and my experiences, but I definitely feel a little scared recommending a purchase of this size to anyone! Lets face it, ALL Bluetooth implementations are quirky, somewhat unstable, and somewhat inconsistent. Literally, your mileage may vary.

To be clear, I am not an independent testing lab (i get a lot of inquiries from the device manufacturers on that one) - I'm just a satisfied Acura TL owner, and happen to be interested and work with wireless devices, so it all dove-tails nicely in hosting this website. I must say, BT connectivity did play a little into my decision to purchase a TL - after a horrendous two year experience with an Audi S4, a car I would wish upon no one in the midwest with the number of potholes we have (many, many flat tires) - but I probably would have bought the TL either way.

At any rate - please keep the comments and questions coming, and I will continue to convey what I hear and what I know as much as I can, but as always, caveat emptor!

September 27, 2004 in In General | Permalink | Comments (6) | TrackBack