Friday, 03 August 2012 17:11

Honda puts its head in the cloud Featured

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HondaLink joins other - mostly German – vehicle manufacturer’s attempts at bringing the online world into our cars.  Social media, cloud based services and other applications streaming directly to the infotainment system.


Beginning in the 2013 Honda Accord, HondaLink will deliver a range of infotainment features that will appeal to many of today’s smartphone wielding brigade.

Combining the app driven smartphone way of life with a modern in-car infotainment system is all part of the service.  "Honda's strategy is about leveraging the cloud to bring a wealth of new information and services to Honda owners," said Charles Koch, American Honda manager of new business development. "This is the next evolution of the connected car and the connected customer."

In the US purchases of cars with HondaLink can expect a wealth of content available when they connect their iOS or Android based device.  "HondaLink will enable customers to put away their phone and still stay connected to the people, music and media they love," said Vicki Poponi, assistant vice president of product planning for American Honda. "By creating an intuitive and customizable user interface, HondaLink allows drivers to access digital content as easily as choosing a radio station."

Connecting the smartphone app to HondaLink enables content to be streamed, through the infotainment system of the vehicle.  You can enjoy digital content seamlessly from the device as well as streamed via the cloud, picking up from where you left off before the drive started, and book-marking the content when getting out of the car.   

The Aha Radio service, which is part of the HondaLink package, is somewhat of a misnomer, providing more than radio as we commonly know it today.  The service includes access to favourite podcasts, internet radio, on-demand music, personalized traffic reports, restaurant recommendations, and audio updates from Facebook and Twitter.

But what of Australian consumers, diddled as we are by expensive data download plans (compared to most other similarly set up countries) as well as coverage issues inherent with a geography versus population mismatch as big as our horizon, how will HondaLink work locally?

Well don’t you worry about that, at this point in time Honda has no plans for HondaLink to be installed in cars shipped to and sold in Australia.  "HondaLink is a system set up by American Honda for customers in the United States,” company spokesperson Lindsay Smalley said “It is another great example of how Honda is taking a lead in investing in new technology. If there was such a system designed for Australia, we would definitely consider it."

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Mike Bantick

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Having failed to grow up Bantick continues to pursue his childish passions for creative writing, interactive entertainment and showing-off through adulthood. In 1994 Bantick began doing radio at Melbourne’s 102.7 3RRRFM, in 1997 transferring to become a core member of the technology show Byte Into It. In 2003 he wrote briefly for the The Age newspaper’s Green Guide, providing video game reviews. In 2004 Bantick wrote the news section of PC GameZone magazine. Since 2006 Bantick has provided gaming and tech lifestyle stories for iTWire.com, including interviews and opinion in the RadioactivIT section.

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