Archive for the ‘Automotive Computers’ Category

Mobile Marketing : Wireless systems help drivers find a spot to park

novembre 20, 2006

PARIS: A service starting in Paris next month is designed to make life somewhat easier for harried drivers by allowing them to find out, in real time, whether there are parking spaces available nearby by using their cellphones or GPS navigation devices.

The system will monitor the status of about 120 public parking garages across the French capital. From their phones, drivers will be able to find out whether a nearby garage is open and has places available.

« At certain times of day, 20 to 25 percent of vehicles are in search of a parking space. With this service, we should be able to improve the traffic flow, » said François Le Vert, a representative of the Fédération Nationale des Métiers du Stationnement, an organization of French parking institutions that helped develop the system.

Eight companies are participating in the project: Orange and SFR, the two leading French mobile networks; Canal TP, NavX and V-Traffic, which specialize in travel and navigation software; the consulting firms Setec and Carte Blanche Conseil, and New Technology for Citizens, a grouping of firms that provides travel services.

The project does not have a catchy, dot-com-era name, instead prefering a more factual moniker, which translates as « universal system for information on parking areas. » Participating parking garages are linked via Internet to a central server, and when the status of a garage changes – open, closed, full, vacancies – it sends a message to the server, which sends updates to the service providers.

At Orange, customers will be able to consult the parking database for free via the Orange World portal on any compatible cellphone. The only charges will be for downloading the data. Orange can find the caller’s approximate position by determining which antenna the phone is connecting to, or the user can simply enter an address.

Alexandre Nepveu, Orange’s director of marketing for telematic and automobile applications, said next year the carrier would add a service for cellphones equipped with GPS receivers, which will allow drivers to be guided to the nearest available garage much more precisely.

Nepveu left open the possibility that the service could be made available to customers of foreign networks in the future, but for now, the service will be available only in French and to Orange customers with contracts in France.

Any driver could sign up for the package offered by a Navx, according to Jean Cherbonnier, a co-founder of the company.

Navx’s service is compatible with about half of all personal navigation devices on the market now, and Cherbonnier said he expected this to increase to 80 percent within six months. The company also markets a service that tells drivers where speed cameras are located.

Navx has plans to spread the system beyond France. « We’re already in touch with parking garages in Germany, » Cherbonnier said. « The German project is for February and will include about 800 garages across the country. » After Germany, Cherbonnier would like to take aim at Switzerland, Italy, Britain, Austria and Spain.

A Massachusetts company, SpotScout, is taking a different approach. SpotSout is working to create a virtual marketplace for parking spaces in high-demand areas in Boston, New York and San Francisco. Using cellphones and the Internet, customers will be able to provide offers and requests for private parking spaces. Farther in the future, SpotScout hopes to allow users to trade information about the availability of parking spaces on the street.

Andrew Rollert, chief executive of SpotScout, said he had received a lot of inquiries from Europe and Asia.

Might drivers be putting themselves and others in danger by using these services at the wheel?

In Cherbonnier’s opinion, the use of cellphones and personal navigation devices is preferable to rummaging through the glove compartment to find the relevant guide book.

« I don’t think it’s a danger, » he said. « It’s just a way of replacing books, guides and maps. »

Wireless systems help drivers find a spot to park – Technology & Media – International Herald Tribune

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Boost Mobile & AirG Roll out Mobile Marketing Campaign – Get Hookt up with a New Ride Customized by West Coast Customs

octobre 30, 2006

IRVINE, Calif. & VANCOUVER, British Columbia–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Boost Mobile®, a lifestyle-based telecommunications brand that develops and distributes wireless communications products for the youth market, and AirG, a global leader in powering mobile communities and wireless social networking, announced today the launch of a multi-channel mobile marketing campaign to promote Boost Hookt – a popular mobile social networking product in the United States.

Between October 15, 2006, and January 15, 2007, Boost Hookt customers that sign up to the Get Hookt Up With A New Ride promotion are eligible to win a brand new Dodge Charger fully customized by West Coast Customs – the Kingz of Customs.

“Boost Hookt has been extremely popular with our customers since it launched last year, and we expect this new marketing campaign to take Boost Hookt adoption to the next level,” said Boost Mobile Director of Value Added Services Craig Thole. “We are excited to be working with West Coast Customs and AirG in launching this unique multi-channel promotion that uses innovative products and services to acquire customers and strengthen our customer facing value proposition.”

The Get Hookt Up With a New Ride mobile marketing campaign will be promoted across multiple channels, including mobile, retail and online, including a MySpace interactive presence. To participate in the promotion Boost Mobile users across the United States can visit BoostLIVE (www.boostlive.com) for methods of entry and official rules. At the close of the campaign on January 15, 2007, one Boost Hookt customer will be driving home in a brand new Dodge Charger courtesy of Boost Mobile, AirG and West Coast Customs.

“We’ve all seen the awesome talent of the West Coast Customs team on television, and their customization work on this Dodge Charger clearly embodies the same spirit of self expression and individuality as Boost Hookt customers,” said Frederick Ghahramani, Director, AirG. “We are delighted to be working with Boost Mobile and West Coast Customs in demonstrating the commercial potential of mobile social networks for advertisers, media companies and mobile operators.”

All custom auto-body work and vehicle modifications for the Get Hookt Up With a New Ride mobile campaign were performed by West Coast Customs and include 22” Lexani Sterling Rims, Toyo Tires, a complete WCC Orion custom audio system, custom stainless exhaust system, tinted windows and a Rex Billet grill. West Coast Customs will also furnish the Runner Up Prize Pack, which includes 1 WCC 17” all-in-one wide screen monitor with removable DVD, 1 WCC 800 WATT Mono Block Subwoofer amplifier and 2 WCC 10” 400 WATT Subwoofers, collectively worth more than $2,000.

“West Coast Customs is always on the lookout for new and innovative ways to showcase our talents and to promote our custom vehicle concepts to new and existing fans,” said Ryan Friedlinghaus, CEO, West Coast Customs. “We are thrilled to be working with Boost Mobile and AirG on this national mobile promotion and entertaining our fans in a whole new way.”

Boost Hookt is a private-label mobile community powered by AirG. Hookt has multiple unique features such as instant messaging, picture profiles, blogging, public and private messaging, and targeted promotions and contests, and comes complete with AirG’s suite of mobile community software, including the Community Marketing Engine, Community Patrol, Community Storefront, Community Marketing Toolkit and Micro-Community Interface. Mobile users can access Boost Hookt via a browseable version through the Boost LIVE deck or through downloadable and embedded versions on Boost Mobile handsets.

Boost Mobile & AirG Roll out Mobile Marketing Campaign – « Get Hookt up with a New Ride Customized by West Coast Customs »

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Mercedes Introduces Telephone Module With Bluetooth (SAP-Profile)

juin 27, 2006

Mercedes has released details of their newest accessory, a telephone module featuring Bluetooth (SAP-Profile). Perfect for anyone who has a tendency of forgetting their cell phone in the typical cradle, the new module with Bluetooth (SAP-Profile) allows users to operate their Bluetooth (SAP-Profile) compatible phones via their vehicle’s multifunction steering wheel, audio system, and central display in the instrument cluster, all without ever taking their phone out of the pocket (or briefcase, purse, etc.).

The system works by first pairing with a compatible cell phone, a process done with the simple touch of a button. The system then automatically recognizes the phone when it comes within the range of the vehicle, and at the same time accesses its SIM card and the phone’s internal memory. This allows the driver to access stored numbers, via the integrated methods of control, without ever touching the cell phone. Even more impressive, the system offers superlative reception and audio quality, due to the fact the BLUETEC (SAP-Profile) connects to the phone’s GSM network via the exterior antenna of the vehicle, as opposed to the phone’s antenna.

If you’re interested, the Mercedes-Benz Telephone Module with Bluetooth (SAP-Profile) is currently available in two variants from Mercedes-Benz sales partners: a closed-box system in autonomous design for 373 euros (German price, including VAT), or as a handset with handrest and passive cable-connected receiver for 406 euros (German price, including VAT). Both models are fitted with a Bluetooth® (SAP- Profile) and a SIM card reader, and their shape and size have been adapted to fit the Mercedes-Benz mobile telephone pre-installation with universal interface (optional equipment code 386, 388). Currently, the phones that feature Bluetooth (SAP-Profile) technology include the Nokia 6230, 6230 and 8800, as well as the Siemens S65, SK65, S75 and SL75.

eMercedesBenz – The Unofficial Mercedes-Benz Weblog

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