Mercedes-Benz mbrace2 in-vehicle technology and apps hands-on

The folks at Mercedes-Benz have given us a demonstration and hands-on look at their second-generation in-car technology environment mbrace2, here with a set of built-in apps as well as a mobile application working on an iPhone connected directly with the vehicle. In the group's brand new SL-Class we get to check out how a fabulous looking set of menus will bring us everything we could possibly need or want to the drivers seat of our car. No need for a dongle anymore also, as mbrace2 brings with it a brand new mobile application that is able to control your car from your iPhone.

iPhone apps

First have a peek at the mobile application. Though we do not have a fully working model here in person, we've got all the functionality built-in to this setup anyway. First you'll get a glimpse of the smartphone-based out-of-car controls, then we'll step into the vehicle for another connection. Here you'll get a taste of what connecting your car directly to your iPhone for a fully immersive and interactive experience in intelligent console computing feels like.

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Built-in Facebook app

Next have a peek at a couple of apps that will be working with mbrace2 aside from the smartphone experience. First you'll get a peek at Facebook, fully operational with your in-car dial and able to update your status on the fly. Pay special attention to how smooth the operation already is even though we're still in a bit of a pre-release phase here. This is but one of a collection of apps you'll have built-in with mbrace2.

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Built-in Google Local Search app

Next there's Google Local Search, this also built-in to mbrace2 and ready for some search and map action. The unique thing about this build of Google's search and mapping system is that no other group currently has street view and panoramic view from the vehicle. This will prove quite valuable to you when you're hunting for that one tiny sandwich shop amongst hundreds of buildings in your own gigantic city.

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mbrace2 Control Module

Finally take a look at the mbrace2 Control Module. It's through this that you'll have the connectivity for everything you've seen above, be it the iPhone-connected interface or the built-in applications. This bit is built-in to the car and you'll never physically see it, but it's a comfort to know what it looks like nonetheless. This technology is built by Continental and has its own chip, internal Bluetooth connectivity, cellular connections, and GPS connector antenna.

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This whole technology suite will be hitting Mercedes-Benz vehicles in spring of 2012. Look for it at your local dealer's lot relatively soon!