Garmin presents new scalable infotainment platform
Garmin International Inc., a unit of Garmin Ltd., incorporated in Switzerland, with principal subsidiaries in the US, Taiwan and the UK, has introduced its scalable infotainment platform for automotive original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). The platform uses the Intel Atom quad core x7 or Intel Atom dual core x5 (Apollo Lake) processor and includes multiple premium industry-firsts for consumers like wireless rear-seat navigation, comprehensive weather forecasts along a route, Foursquare’s Location Intelligence and Places Database, and unique integration of Amazon’s cloud-based Alexa voice service. “Garmin’s scalable infotainment platform, showcased at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show (CES), offers a level of performance and design that consumers expect from consumer electronics but have never seen in OEM infotainment,” Kip Dondlinger, Garmin Automotive OEM Manager of product and user experience, said.
“The new platform provides adaptable hardware and software for infotainment head units that suit specific OEM needs at the mid- and high-end levels of the market,” he said.
Driving in bad weather can be a common concern for consumers. To help bring peace of mind, Garmin utilizes predictive routing algorithms that work with AccuWeather G powered by MinuteCast technology to display the weather conditions that can be expected along any given route. Thanks to this joint effort between Garmin and AccuWeather, the scalable infotainment platform offers the first navigation system to provide comprehensive minuteby-minute weather forecasts with Superior Accuracy to pinpoint exact routes.
The Garmin scalable infotainment platform takes Alexa integration in the vehicle to a new level. Alexa works directly with the on-board navigation and media player software established by Garmin – which means no smartphones or apps required.
Consumers can easily select their destination with the Alexa handsfree voice service and then have it automatically synced to turn-byturn navigation from Garmin. What’s more, consumers can ask Alexa questions and receive both audio and onscreen responses; play music through the head unit’s media player; control home automation while traveling on the road; and access hundreds of other Alexa skills from the vehicle’s head unit.
In addition, Garmin also uses the infotainment platform for Wireless Rear Seat Navigation and Entertainment. Tablets or smartphones – Apple or Android – will have access to the head unit’s mapping and full navigation
functionality streaming over Wi-Fi to the rear seat. Rear seat passengers will be able to see the vehicle’s route, search points of interest, and even send destinations to the head unit. Users can also stream media content from the infotainment system to their device via Wi-Fi, making the vehicle an entertainment hub that mimics the experience seen on commercial airliners.
The versatile platform includes onboard and connected Foursquare points of interest (POI) integration, a feature that was recently launched by Garmin as a factoryinstalled navigation solution. With Foursquare’s Places Database that powers 125,000+ developers including Uber, Twitter, Samsung and Snapchat, Foursquare adds more POIs in the categories of Food and Drink, Lodging, and Entertainment which are the most searched categories in a car.
For decades, Garmin has pioneered new GPS navigation and wireless devices and applications that are designed for people who live an active lifestyle. Garmin serves five primary business units, including automotive, aviation, fitness, marine, and outdoor recreation.
New Garmin Speak Plus
Garmin International has introduced Garmin Speak Plus with Amazon Alexa, adding a built-in dash camera to its innovative Garmin Speak. The in-vehicle device is enabled with Amazon’s cloud-based Alexa voice service for hands-free access to music, news briefings, sports scores, exclusive GPS navigation from Garmin, and much more. With the addition of the newly -integrated dash cam, drivers can rest at ease with their own personal eyewitness overseeing their daily drive. The Garmin Speak Plus will automatically record and save files when an incident is detected, and introduces advanced driver assistance features that include Forward Collision, and Lane Departure Warnings.
“The Garmin Speak Plus is an easy way to bring Amazon Alexa’s popular functionality to your car. Just as Amazon continues to enhance Alexa’s voice service with exciting new skills, Garmin creatively merges its worldrenowned GPS navigation and camera technology with the Speak Plus. The added dash cam is discreet yet provides invaluable peace of mind to drivers who want an extra set of eyes with them in case an incident occurs,” Dan Bartel, Garmin Vice-president of global consumer sales, said. “
“Alexa is always getting smarter and we’re excited to see Garmin continues to be innovate on the in-car Alexa experience. Customers want to be able to access Alexa wherever they are, and that includes the car. Alexa will help customers do thousands of things in the car including navigation, music, shopping lists, accessing their favourite skills, and more,” Ned Curic, Amazon Alexa Vice-president of Automotive, said.
The new dash cam gives Garmin Speak Plus users increased awareness on the road. It offers helpful alerts like Forward Collision Warnings that lets drivers know if they’re too close to the vehicle ahead; Lane Departure Warnings if the driver drifts off the road or into oncoming traffic; and “Go Alerts” to notify drivers when stopped traffic ahead begins to move. At just an inch and a half in size, the compact Garmin Speak Plus features a familiar LED light ring – reminiscent of the Amazon Echo – and a bright OLED display showing lane guidance arrows to guide drivers to their destination, and unobtrusively secures to a vehicle’s windshield with a magnetic mount for easy stow and go.
Like its predecessor, drivers can ask Alexa to play songs from several free and subscription-based music services, including Amazon music, Pandora and Sirius XM. Garmin Speak Plus works in conjunction with the Garmin Speak app and a Bluetooth-enabled smartphone with a suitable cellular data connection. Drivers can then use Bluetooth or an AUX cable (not included) to hear audio through their vehicle’s speakers – accept or ignore incoming calls, hear a favourite tune, and more. The vehicle-dedicated device does not rely on a Wi-Fi hotspot to function. Amazon Alexa lives in the cloud and will continue getting smarter as it automatically delivers new capabilities to the Garmin Speak Plus.
The more customers use Alexa, the more Alexa adapts to speech patterns, vocabulary, and preferences with new features continually being added. Alexa skills promote new capabilities that allow Garmin Speak Plus users to develop a more personalized experience with Alexa. What’s more, automatic software and mapping updates are regularly sent to the Garmin Speak Plus to keep the device up-to-date.
Garmin Speak Plus Lifestyle