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The Future of Content in the Car

July 2, 2014 By Todd Ramsey
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The compelling content of the future for the car is not multimedia. It’s not music delivery or streaming music apps. It’s not digital audio storage in the cloud or on portable devices. It’s not movies on demand. It’s not even on-the-go social media and checking in everywhere. All that kind of content and engagement is accessible, almost ubiquitously, anytime you want it today. It’s here now. Listen to this, watch that, tag it, like it, hashtag it, share it with the rest of the world. It’s exhausting, already. Plus, someone still has to pay attention and drive. Have we forgotten about that part?

Sure, there will be better methodologies for delivery of multimedia content and there will be more refined ways for access to the content while in the car (such as Apple CarPlay, MirrorLink or Google’s proposed car solution for Android-based devices). That’s just the next expected evolution of what is happening already. Nobody is really getting excited about small advancements in delivering multimedia content because it’s already available everywhere. Consumers simply expect that access and interaction to the content while in the car. There will be incremental improvements with new generations of products, car electronics and the portable devices to which the car connects.

Personalization & Productivity Behind the Wheel
The real future of content for the car is going to be streamlining your driving experience to provide a personalized and prioritized approach for all of the things you incorporate on a given driving session, thereby enhancing productivity. Time is precious these days. Think about it…why do I need to look on my phone at the Gas Buddy app to find the cheapest price on gas when my car should know the tank is low? The car should automatically search the app on my phone and connect to the navigation screen to display on my route home that there are six places to purchase gas and prioritize them least to most costly. Why not have it be a seamless experience instead of a convoluted process that causes me to reach for my smartphone behind the wheel?  Illegally, no less…

You see, the multimedia integration into both OEM and aftermarket head units continues to get better. That’s why I don’t feel like those avenues are the future. It’s already happening. Instead, take a look at the other things consumers do with their smartphones – and why they drive places. This is where the opportunities in future portable devices and content integration for the car lie. How about adding a Bluetooth standard and Bluetooth Low Energy (BTLE) type devices from the health and fitness categories? And one could even have their car keep track of how much further away you should park to get the extra steps in on your pedometer or how many calories you’ve consumed while out and about.

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