Uber Partners With Local ISP To Provide In-Car Wi-Fi In India

What Happened
In its newest localization efforts, Uber has partnered with Bharti Airtel, an Indian telecom company, to provide free in-car WiFi for riders in India. This partnership also offers discounted phone plans for drivers and allows them to accept payments through Airtel Money, Bharti’s own digital payment system. Usually struggling with patchy mobile internet coverage and costly mobile plans, users in India (and other developing countries) will no doubt welcome this new offer.

What Brands Can Do
Although unlikely to be introduced in the US any time soon, Uber’s new partnership in India does point to a future where on-demand rides come with their own Wi-Fi offers, which would naturally open up new in-car advertising and targeting opportunities for brands to go along for the ride.


Source: New York Times

Mojio Launches Apps Store For Its Connected Car Platform

What Happened
Earlier this week, Mojio, a connected car platform and pluggable device maker, launched an app and services store for its platform. The new Mojio Drive store will feature 20 apps and services that can help expand the functionality of the Mojio platform and enhance your connected car experience.

What Brands Should Do
Although the majority of the apps currently available on Mojio Drive focus on driving and safety enhancement, it isn’t hard to imagine the platform would be filled with in-car infotainment services in the near future. Therefore, brands seeking to connect with consumers on the go will need to identify when and where they can best reach them and provide true value offers via platforms such as Mojio.


Source: TechCrunch

Jaguar To Bring Quantified Self Into Cars

Read original story on: The Verge

Jaguar is bringing biometric tracking to future Jaguar models for smarter safety and security solutions. The British carmaker is planning to track the driver’s heart rate, and breathing, and even brainwaves in order to monitor the alert level of the driver. Combined with actionable notifications, Jaguar imagines it being particularly important for the self-driving cars in the future.

In order to measure all these biometric data without trapping drivers in a heavy helmet, Jaguar is reportedly testing a “medical-grade sensor” embedded in a seat that monitors heart rate and breathing through vibrations, as well as a brainwave-monitoring sensor embedded in the steering wheel.

If it came to realization, this would offer brands a lot of benefits as well, and not just for those in healthcare or pharma. For instance, a local coffee shop can push for a timely caffeine fix when the driver is detected sleepy. Similarly, this could let brands know when not to bother the drivers if they are stressed. Overall, it would make connected car more in touch with the driver.

Amazon To Turn Connected Audi Cars Into Mailboxes

Read original story on: Engadget

In a great combination of connected mobility and German efficiency, Amazon is teaming up with Audi and DHL for a trial program that delivers Amazon Prime purchases directly to connected Audi cars. Prime shoppers in the Munich area just need to provide the rough location of their car during the delivery window, and the DHL couriers will be granted temporary access to open the vehicle trunks and drop off the packages. As connected cars continues to infiltrate the market, we expect to see more brands to come up with innovative and practical ways like this to make use of connected car features.

Why Ford Is Working On Its Own Version Of Uber

Read original story on: The Next Web

Ford CEO Mark Field revealed in a recent interview with BuzzFeed that the company has been developing its own ridesharing service named Dynamic Shuttle. Earlier this year at CES, Ford unveiled a series of experiments in developing the connected car, and this announcement marks Ford’s first entry into building its own platform. As on-demand ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft radically alter the landscape of personal transportation, it makes sense that a legacy auto manufacturer like Ford would be eager to acclimate to the ongoing market shift from car-ownership towards car-sharing.

Dynamic Shuttle

Image taken from Ford’s website


Seven Trends We Look Forward To At SXSW 2015

Today marks the first day of 2015 South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive Festival, and this year, the Lab has seven market trends that we are looking forward to exploring in the following days.

  1. Mobile Engagement Zooms in on Events and Locations
    We will be talking with Gimbal and Estimote, two leading beacon providers, to discuss how event and location-based targeting can help brands connect with their audiences at the right moments and places.
  2. Exchanging Value for Data With IoT
    The balance between personal data security and data-enabled value is a tricky one, and the Lab will be rethinking privacy in the Internet of Things with Kasisto and Button.
  3. The Future Living Room is for Gaming and Streaming
    The increase in streaming and gaming options provided by the likes of Twitch and LyteShot, is pushing the living room experience into new futuristic domain.
  4. The Internet of Things Will Be User-Centered
    With connected devices offering more user-centered experiences, we’ll be interviewing SnowShoe Stamp and WiActs about digital identity in the future of embeddables and wearables.
  5. Connected Car is Getting an Upgrade
    Connected car is changing the way we drive, and brands like Cargo, an open platform for connected cars, indicates that in-car connectivity will soon get another upgrade that could turn our vehicles into moving media channels.
  6. New Media Interfaces Lead the Future of Brand Experiences
    New advanced interfaces such as virtual reality or interactive touchscreens are opening up new opportunities to create innovative and engaging brand experiences. We plan to talk about such a future with Jaunt VR, LittleStar VR content platform, and EyeQ.
  7. Mobile Payment and Ecommerce To Shake Up Retail
    With promising new players like Clover and OpiaTalk emerging in mobile payment and ecommerce, the retail world is looking at a fundamental shake-up in the near future.


Header image courtesy of sxsw.com


Top Five Trends From Today’s Apple Event

There’s no dispute that Apple is a market trendsetter, and today’s “Spring Forward” media event will undoubtedly keep people talking until the new products hit the shelves. Here are the five trends from today’s event that marketers need to know:

Wearables Peak With “Glanceable” Notifications
With the Watch’s official launch set for April 24, the wearables market is poised to hit a historic boom as all wearable makers gear up to capitalize on the forthcoming public attention. And as notifications move from mobile devices to the user’s wrist, it will become more important to provide “glanceable” content that can be easily addressed or ignored. Brands will need to experiment to deliver the right notification at the right moment or risk overwhelming the consumer.

Tech and Fashion Continue To Converge
The Apple Watch has three different collections, each with two finishes and six watch bands made of different materials. Among all these stylistic options, however, the one that stands out is undoubtedly its 18-karat gold edition—priced at $10,000—which marks Apple’s official entry into the luxury goods market. By limiting distribution, Apple is clearly taking a page out of high-fashion brands’ playbook, furthering the convergence of tech and fashion.

Further Integration Across Interfaces
Besides continuity between the Apple Watch and new MacBook, Apple is also making a play for the connected car and smart home. Not only are all major car manufacturers committed to integrating Apple’s CarPlay into new models, Apple also mentioned it is working with leading brands in home automation to expand the reach of its HomeKit platform. During the Watch demo, for example, Apple showcased a remote garage door control powered by alarm.com.

The Quantified Self Connects With Healthcare
Further integrating self-generated health data and healthcare, Apple highlighted a new ResearchKit that could potentially revolutionize the field of medical research. By partnering with several prestigious medical institutions, Apple’s new open-source platform will allow medical researchers to easily create apps that gather medical data. The company is also carefully balancing privacy concerns by making all studies opt-in and hiding results from Apple.

Displays Keep Getting Thinner And Sharper
Apple also stunned the crowd with the thinnest and lightest MacBook to date (13.1mm at the thickest and weighs just 2 pounds), and improving image quality with a 12-inch Retina display. As more and more devices upgrade to retina screens, brands need to make sure they are developing high-resolution content.

Header image taken from Apple.com

AT&T To Bring The Smart Home Into The Car

Read original story on: CNET

At the Mobile World Congress last week, AT&T announced that its Digital Life and Drive platforms are joining forces to allow drivers to check on home security and set up smart home automation straight from the user’s connected car. With this new partnership, Digital Life subscribers will be able to access the app on their vehicle’s control panel or via voice control without checking their phone.

Pizza Hut To Let You Order And Pay For Pizza With Your Car

Read original story on: VentureBeat

Pizza Hut, along with Visa and Accenture, announced at Mobile World Congress that they are working together to explore mobile and on-the-road purchases in connected cars. The trial plans to include a new Interactive Voice Control (IVR) feature that will let you talk to your car to place your order, while Visa Checkout, Visa’s online payment service, will let users make in-car payments seamlessly. Moreover, beacon technology will also be deployed at Pizza Hut restaurants to alert staff when the customer has arrived and is ready to pick up the order. If this works, the drive-thru of the future will be very efficient.

Update 3/5/2015: Not to be outdone, Domino’s is developing an ordering app on wearables to allow customers to place pizza orders from their Android Wear and Pebble smartwatches.

How Google Is Positioning Waze To Be The Core App For Android Auto

Read original story on: The Verge

Since Google’s acquisition of Waze in 2013, the real-time data-driven navigation app has been steadily growing its popularity among drivers. As a result, Google has decided to include Waze as one of the pre-installed apps on new Android phones, along with other Google staples like Maps, YouTube, and Gmail. With this move, Google is set to expose Waze to a larger potential audience, presumably readying it to take center stage of Android Auto system for connected cars.