Many of us immediately embrace the screen replication element of MirrorLink™. Mirroring makes the smartphone’s user interface (UI) available to the driver via the in-vehicle infotainment system (IVI). This includes not only the visual display, but audio and UI controls as well. With applications and services remaining on the smartphone, in full control of its user interface layout and behavior, this describes a major shift in how the car’s IVI connects to smartphones: MirrorLink turns the current relationship upside down by allowing the smartphone to treat the car as an accessory. An expensive accessory, though. :)
But beyond the screen replication element, MirrorLink needs to contain additional functionality that optimizes smartphone apps for use while driving and that adheres to regulation around driver distraction. This is part of the technological framework the CCC provides developers when they create MirrorLink-enabled applications. In this manner, the IVI immediately recognizes compliant applications and makes them available on the dashboard for the driver to use. It’s this very compliance that opens tremendous opportunities for new applications as well as for innovation around automotive optimized user interfaces. Innovation within MirrorLink is not limited or complicated by restrictive vehicle APIs or closed IVI environments.
Seeing more and more MirrorLink-enabled smartphones and vehicle infotainment systems reaching consumers only inspires us to continue developing and enhancing MirrorLink’s core features. As we are currently rolling out support for third-party applications, interested developers will see more and more information around tools and guidelines. Also, MirrorLink’s technical development is moving forward. In particular we will ensure that users can enjoy the same kind of experience they are used to on their smartphones, a promise at the heart of MirrorLink™ from the beginning. For example, this involves enhancing the rate at which MirrorLink™ can remote the user interface. Also, support for Wi-Fi Miracast™ will enhance the user experience via the convenience of a wireless in-vehicle connection protocol. Enabling Web technologies and further developing access to car data will give app developers even more tools to innovate and differentiate.
So stay tuned for all the new things coming. I am personally very excited and looking forward to see MirrorLink take big steps in 2013.
Jörg Brakensiek, CCC Technical Work Group Chair