by TOKEN on March 13, 2013 · 9:49 pm
One of the more interesting mobile application concepts we saw at the 2013 South By South West conference was the Smileage application from Google and Volkswagen. This little app uses your V-Dubs Bluetooth system to track or record your driving information and offers you advice like, how to save gas, or offers alternative routs.
The Smileage application is quite social as well. It allows you tag your friends in the car or (check them in) and offers them the ability to create comments based on their immediate in-car-expertise. The app will let other friends and family tap into your ride from all of your social apps as well.
This app utilizes some of the features we see in the more popular trainer apps like Nike fuel band and one I personally use (Cycle Meter). The smailage app will allow you to set up destination or drives and let your social connections communicate to you during your journey. There are so many cool connected-car like apps and features out there already but VW ad Google are looking to take the best of the best and give you one app to control many functions and ultimately deliver more smiles.
Does this mean VW will be investing in multiplatform app development and smartphones to generate their unique connected car experiences? With telematics and in-dash technology instantly outdated as soon as you leave the dealership parking lot, I wouldn’t blame them if they kept a nice hi-end stereo system in the dash and nothing else. Let drivers use their own devices to control their automobile digital environment.
Ultimately, I think Google and VW are onto something good here, I see them creating an experience that will ultimately take over the driver’s manual. Today your checking your friends into your car, but tomorrow you will be learning how to put your convertible roof down or change a tire via an interactive tutorial.
Let drivers use the devices they know and love and supply them with seamless connectivity to their cars system and server up great information and content.