Once upon a time, what we now call “mobile phones” used to be called “car phones,” as they were specifically designed and fitted to a specific automobile. Of course, these days mobile phones go just about everywhere, but for a lot of people they’re still most useful on the road. Unfortunately, that’s also where their use is the most dangerous.
One company is hoping to change all that, and in doing so they’re also creating great opportunities for enterprising mobile app developers. The Car Connectivity Consortium decided to open up its MirrorLink standard to mobile app developers in the first quarter of 2013. Essentially, Mirrorlink technology allows the user to control a smartphone from the steering wheel or through dashboard buttons and controls, thus bringing hands-free convenience to all the functions in the driver’s smartphone.
While the accompanying enhancements to traffic safety are both long overdue and very welcome, opening up Mirrorlink technology also creates new markets for mobile app developers. Without any explicit approval, as early as next year developers will be able to use the technology to come up with any app they choose that will interface with the car.
There’s something in this for everyone, as it turns out. The CCC gets to become the gold standard for car/phone interface, developers get an exciting new market, and consumers have a lot more options when it comes to their on-board technology. Most current dashboard systems that come with a car are proprietary (and unfortunately, there are still those that require you to cycle through every letter of the alphabet when punching in an address). Considering the fact that people upgrade their phones more often than they do their cars means they’ll have access to the latest whistles and bells. In fact, Pioneer has an after-market dashboard system that is compatible with MirrorLink coming out next year as well.
So if you have an idea for an in-car mobile app, now’s the time to get started. Give us a call and we’ll get you on your way with quotes from three reputable developers.