Hyundai and LG have teamed up to create something called the Hyundai Connectivity Concept. The idea behind it is that smart phones are becoming ever integrated into our lives. Like a personal computer we carry everywhere. Currently the only real integration most of us ever have, between phone and car is plugging it in to play music.
In this technological age, the current phone/car integration remains pretty much dumb.
Hyundai have realised this and have developed an easy and intuitive solution.
Using a phone with an embedded NFC tag, you can simply unlock your car by holding the phone against a small square on the side windows. Almost instantly the locks click, and you’re in.
Once in the car you find a phone sized tray in the centre console, again with a small white NFC square on it. Place your phone here and it starts charging wirelessly. Not only does it do that but it sets the cars settings to your preference. Everything from the colours of the central touch screen, to your favourite radio station, even the temperature you like the car to be. Everything is synced from phone to car.
Next, with a device standard called MirrorLink, the central touch screen becomes an extension of the phones screen. You have a choice of two views, the MirrorLink Apps section shows a screen with larger icons which you can customise, like a favourite app section. Or, you can view an exact copy of what’s on your phones screen.
Any app on the phone can be used through this larger screen. Need to go somewhere? Then just open your favourite navigation app, it seamlessly connects and also transfers the audio to the car speakers.
You can make calls, read emails, browse the web, listen to internet radio, anything! Anything you can do on your phone, you can now access in your cars dash.
You can even connect to the car when you’re not inside it, through a specific Hyundai App. This allows you to check if the car is locked, or unlocked, current fuel and oil level, driving range, as well as tyre pressures and cabin temperature. It will even tell you the current location of the vehicle and show a live feed from the rear view camera.
Having had a demo of the prototype system first hand, we can safely say its brilliant! There’s minimal lag between the dash screen and phone controls, the wireless charging is also a great idea. Hyundai have said the tech won’t cost a fortune either, it’s a relatively simple setup compared to the current in built sat nav and multimedia systems. The biggest cost at the moment is the dash touch screen, because it runs at a higher resolution than most in built units.
Currently the only phone it works with is a prototype LG model. But with NFC and wireless charging being built into a growing number of phones, it will only be a matter of time before every smart phone comes with these features as standard.
We don’t think the NFC keyless entry side of things will take off, as invariably tech like this always worries the end user. But the MirrorLink and custom settings are definitely the future of car tech. It should be in cars by 2015….we want it now!