Harman smartphone dashboard concept showcased in Geneva

Ben Kersey - Mar 6, 2012, 11:21am CST
Harman smartphone dashboard concept showcased in Geneva

Things are in full swing at the Geneva Motor Show, and Harman have a little something they’d like to show you there. They’ve come up with a integrated and personalized dashboard system designed to sync with your existing smartphone, whether it be iOS, Android, or BlackBerry.

The system works via NFC: when you enter your vehicle with your smartphone, the interface remembers settings from when you were last in the car, such as seat adjustments, volume preferences, and social network feeds. Settings are personalized to each driver, so if you share a vehicle with a partner you won’t find yourself having to readjust everything whenever you drive.

The system also integrates with the navigation system, tweaking routes and gas station preferences as it learns more about your driving habits. Safety also seems to be a key feature – rather than swiping and taping away at your phone, motion gesture controls are employed instead, and the system can suggest you pull over for a rest if needed.

Right now Harman are only showing off the technology in their DOCK+GO concept vehicle, although they say the technology is commercially viable for any automakers willing to try it. Time will tell if we see it in any cars in the near future.


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4 Responses to Harman smartphone dashboard concept showcased in Geneva

  1. Wasn’t this a joke product from ThinkGeek?

    Unless it recognizes when the engine is turned on and blocks certain phone functions, it seems like a terrible idea. Don’t encourage people to text in traffic.

    • Most smartphones have good voice recognition.

      And blurting a text message and saying “send” is if nothing else a far briefer distraction than having an entire conversation with a party on the other end, while driving.
      I wish more automakers would encourage voice-to-text over Bluetooth-conversation, the roads would be far safer.

      But realistically, both pale in comparison to the distraction (both audible and visual) that an actual human passenger presents to you in the car (if you don’t have children, you may not realize this).  It isn’t even apples-to-apples.  They demand your attention, more so than the call which you choose to give attention to, more so than the voice-to-text that you can choose to give attention to or delay response indefinitely until a good quiesce time.

      Unfortunately, we close many of these doors because “studies” vilify them, rather than trying to isolate the parts of them that are bad – taking your eyes off the road and hands off the wheel.

    • Most smartphones have good voice recognition.

      And blurting a text message and saying “send” is if nothing else a far briefer distraction than having an entire conversation with a party on the other end, while driving.
      I wish more automakers would encourage voice-to-text over Bluetooth-conversation, the roads would be far safer.

      But realistically, both pale in comparison to the distraction (both audible and visual) that an actual human passenger presents to you in the car (if you don’t have children, you may not realize this).  It isn’t even apples-to-apples.  They demand your attention, more so than the call which you choose to give attention to, more so than the voice-to-text that you can choose to give attention to or delay response indefinitely until a good quiesce time.

      Unfortunately, we close many of these doors because “studies” vilify them, rather than trying to isolate the parts of them that are bad – taking your eyes off the road and hands off the wheel.

  2. I was just thinking about this this weekend.
    I rented a Focus with the flawed-but-good Sync, and thought “the aftermarket must have something better than this”.
    But it really doesn’t… and this is where HK is coming in, I’m sure.
    (this is discouraging to me, having had a 20+ year involvement in the automotive aftermarket industry, back then the aftermarket was innovative)

    Some decks now have some innovative Pandora integration – where it uses the Pandora app on your smartphone and a bluetooth connection to let you control and stream from your phone to the deck, but this is a one-service-pony.
    My car came stock with a double-DIN sized radio, and I decided to solve this problem by getting a simple, basic Single DIN head unit with bluetooth, and not worrying about specific features.
    Then, above it, I fabricated a mount for my phone (using the Samsung windshield car dock, sans-windshield suction cup/arm), with USB leading to the USB input on the rear of the deck.

    This way, my phone charges when docked, allows the media deck to play the USB source from my phone, and/or I can run any app I want (Pandora or otherwise) and the audio will stream via Bluetooth – all I have to do is switch to “Bluetooth Aux” and pull up whatever I want on the phone.

    Personally, I don’t think it can get much better than that, until someone invents a way to integrate via Bluetooth to sling both the display and touchscreen control of the phone to the display on the head unit.  But even that solution has pros-and-cons… slick that you could leave the phone in your pocket, but if you did – the phone isn’t charging.

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