Entries Tagged as 'I.C.E.'

Hype: Subaru Adds Stitcher App To Its Starlink Infotainment System

Posted on 05.14.15 | Andrew Beckford No Comments


With each passing day traditional radio is starting to suck more and more.  Each station playing the same 5 songs on rotation every 30 minutes.  Its no wonder people are moving to alternatives like satellite radio and streaming apps.  Although sometimes problems arise with those options such as finding a uncluttered way to use streaming services in your car without having to constantly look at your phone to control things.  Subaru is set to make the experience easier by announcing that they will be adding the popular streaming app Stitcher to their “Starlink” infotainment system.

If you haven’t heard of Stitcher, its a pretty popular app that gives users access to on demand news, sports, music, and pod casts in one app.  With the app added to Subaru’s Starlink system users can control the app via the dashboard display and even create custom playlists and get program recommendations.  It sounds pretty slick to me.  Anything that would help me escape the top 40 nightmare is much welcomed!

Press Release:

May 14, 2015


Cherry Hill, N.J. –  Subaru of America, Inc. announced that owners of Subaru models equipped with SUBARU STARLINK™ in-vehicle technology can now enjoy a fully integrated Stitcher experience in their vehicle. Stitcher is the leader in on-demand news, sports, and entertainment audio programming with access to more than 40,000 radio shows, live radio stations and podcasts from sources including CNN, Fox, NPR, CBS, AP, The Wall Street Journal and many more. Stitcher is powered by Deezer, the leading music streaming service with over 16 million users in over 180 countries.

Subaru owners can access Stitcher and control their listening easily and safely via their vehicle’s dashboard display, when connected to an iOS or Android based smartphone with the SUBARU STARLINK app installed. The cloud-based system allows for easy integration of Stitcher services and lets listeners create a playlist of their favorite shows, always up to date with the latest episode, and enjoy personalized recommendations based on their listening habits. SUBARU STARLINK is unique in that new partners can be integrated into the app and customers enjoy the benefits immediately, with no software updates required.

SUBARU STARLINK is the company’s in-vehicle platform that provides hands-free connectivity, entertainment and safety services to vehicle occupants. STARLINK in-vehicle technology puts news, food, weather, music, podcasts, audio books, and other multimedia content into the vehicle and at the occupant’s fingertips.

“We aim to provide the best and most relevant content for our customers and we are excited to add a great partner like Stitcher to SUBARU STARLINK,” said Alan Bethke, vice president of marketing, Subaru of America, Inc. “By downloading the free SUBARU STARLINK app, our customers can seamlessly integrate the capability of a smartphone into the vehicle so that hand-held phones may be safely stowed while driving.”

“People have been listening to radio in their car for almost a hundred years but in that time little has been done to improve upon the content,” said Tyler Goldman, Chief Executive Officer North America, Deezer. “Stitcher is focused on bringing the future of news, entertainment and music to the driving experience and super serving listeners with a personalized lean back experience with car manufacturers like Subaru, which is embracing out-of-the-box thinking.”

The SUBARU STARLINK app delivers many entertainment options by pushing content like iHeartRadio®, calendar, news, and other applications automatically. Premium multimedia content includes audiobooks and applications like iHeartRadio® and Stitcher™. These capabilities are available on 2015 Legacy, 2015 Outback, 2015 Impreza, 2015 XV Crosstrek, and 2015 XV Crosstrek Hybrid models. Various SUBARU STARLINK updates including Sirius XM Connected Vehicle Services and AT&T 4G LTE network capability, for improved connectivity, will be featured in select 2016 Subaru models.

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CES 2014: Garmin Shows Off A HUD (Heads Up Display) Nav Concept Meant To Keep Eyes On The Road

Posted on 01.07.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments


A few years ago I bought a GPS navigation unit on black Friday.  To this day I still use it, although admittedly the experience isn’t as great as it used to be.  First of all the suction cup mount pretty much disintegrated so I have to place it in a little make-shift cradle on my dashboard.  This means sometimes when I look at it I have to glance down which has lent itself to a few “sketchy” moments while on the road!  Heck, even with the suction cup working and mounted on the windshield sometimes the GPS needed to be adjusted and while nothing horrible happened, its still a distraction from driving.

Garmin is looking to eliminate those situations with their new Heads Up Display (HUD) concept that they are currently showing off at CES 2014 out in Las Vegas.  The Garmin HUD unit will project navigation information as well as other information that can be pulled from a smart phone, on the windshield just below the driver’s line of sight.  The driver can also easily cycle through the information via steering wheel mounted controls which also incorporate a proximity sensor which will “intuitively” change the menu options to match what the driver is doing.  It will also allow for changing of radio stations and other controls all without taking hands off the wheel.

This is definitely a cool concept but for now its just that; a concept.  Hopefully Garmin’s HUD will see production soon but when it does drop, expect it to have a fat price tag.  For a better look at the HUD interface, click the thumbnail below.  You can also read the official press release below as well.


Press Release:

OLATHE, Kan./January 7, 2014/Business Wire — Garmin International Inc., a unit of Garmin Ltd. (NASDAQ: GRMN), the global leader in satellite navigation, today announced that it will showcase a range of new infotainment technologies for automakers at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2014. Designed to minimize distractions behind the wheel, Garmin will present an interactive head-up display (HUD) interface as well as new developments of its K2 infotainment platform to selected industry members and the press in a private meeting room.

“Garmin’s auto OEM group utilizes the company’s extensive experience in user interface and hardware design to address one of the biggest challenges of the auto industry today: developing in-car infotainment that allows drivers to stay connected behind the wheel without diverting their attention from the road,” said Matt Munn, Garmin managing director automotive OEM. “Garmin’s K2 infotainment platform and interactive HUD interface have been developed utilizing an in-house driving simulator that uses cameras to track the driver’s eye movements. The interface design is based on the time and cognitive load required to perform a task with the goal of minimizing driver distraction.”

The interactive HUD concept provides a glimpse at how an automotive HUD interface designed by Garmin can help keep the driver’s hands on the wheel and eyes on the road. Balancing functionality with simplicity, the interface includes a passive state and an interactive mode. The passive state presents customizable audio, navigation or communication content just below the driver’s line of sight. A simple and clean interface provides important information quickly and at a glance. The navigation view, for example, can show information such as junction views, lane guidance, speed limit and safety warnings.

The innovative proximity sensor on the steering wheel activates an interactive mode on the HUD that allows users to switch between the different pages. Two steering wheel buttons let users select in-menu options, such as start a route, view traffic information, change a radio station or initiate a phone call. Users can save presets in each menu for quick access while on the road and eyes facing straight ahead. The audio menu, for example, could contain saved radio stations, playlists and songs.

In addition to the new interactive HUD interface, Garmin will showcase new developments of its K2 infotainment platform. This includes production-ready hardware design, new features, and the evolution of K2’s intuitive user interface (UI), utilizing the company’s long-standing experience from its avionics, marine and consumer segments. Garmin’s K2 infotainment turns the car dashboard into a digital cockpit that provides drivers a safe and intuitive way to stay connected and access all the functions they need while on the road. Garmin is committed to safely integrating the content and connectivity that drivers want and far too often are accessing via their smartphone. The new K2 demo at this year’s CES will include the integration of third-party entertainment and navigation-related content.

Garmin will offer individual in-vehicle demonstrations to selected industry members and the press in a private meeting room at the 2014 CES in Las Vegas. In addition to K2 and the HUD concept, Garmin will show other automotive OEM developments, including insights into its driver distraction research and a fully integrated Android infotainment head unit.

Garmin’s broad range of in-vehicle electronics for the automotive industry includes full infotainment and telematics systems, navigation software, location-based services, and integrated portable navigation systems. Garmin has dedicated automotive OEM offices throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia.

About Garmin International Inc. Garmin International Inc. is a subsidiary of Garmin Ltd. (Nasdaq: GRMN), the global leader in satellite navigation. Since 1989, this group of companies has designed, manufactured, marketed and sold navigation, communication and information devices and applications – most of which are enabled by GPS technology. Garmin’s products serve automotive, mobile, wireless, outdoor recreation, marine, aviation, and OEM applications. A component of the S&P 500 index, Garmin Ltd. is incorporated in Switzerland, and its principal subsidiaries are located in the United States, Taiwan and the United Kingdom. For more information, visit Garmin’s virtual pressroom at www.garmin.com/pressroom or contact the Media Relations department at 913-397-8200. Garmin is a registered trademark of Garmin Ltd.

All other brands, product names, company names, trademarks and service marks are the properties of their respective owners. All rights reserved. Android is a trademark of Google Inc.

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Hype Video: “Music Comes When Driving” By Steve Connell

Posted on 02.02.12 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

Pioneer wants the world to know that music is their passion so to help get the message out they enlisted the services of Poet, Motivational Speaker, and Storyteller Steve Connell to do a series of pieces as part of the Pioneer Poet Project.  If you are skeptical and think that poetry and car audio don’t mix well together then I highly reccomend you watch the video below of Connell performing “Music Comes When Driving” and it will definitely change your mind.  This guy is on point!

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Car Audio Hype: Pioneer “MIXTRAX” Technology

Posted on 12.12.11 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

We have all been there, a group of people in one car about to embark on a long trip.  It is moments like those in which shouting “shotgun!” becomes incredbily important.  Why? Not just because you avoid sitting in the back seat with your flatulant friend Bob, but because who ever is shotgun gets to also be the “DJ” for the entire trip.  A blessing for the shotgun rider but a possible curse for everyone else in the damn car.  Well, Pioneer has found a way to end the “road trip DJ” argument for good with their new “MIXTRAX” technology.  MIXTRAX searches a user’s music library and finds tracks that are similar in genre and BPM (beats per minute) and creates “TRAX” that keep the party going non-stop without having to manually scan through your music libaray or radio stations.  It even adds DJ style transitions between songs like reverb, scratching, crossfading and more to make sure that the music is a continuous experience.  That stuff is all great but I am just happy that MIXTRAX can save me from listening to nothing but “Air Supply” for an entire road trip, everyone knows that “WHAM!” is where its at!

Press Release:



MIAMI – (December 8, 2011) – Pioneer Electronics (USA) Inc. continues to innovate entertainment and audio technologies and today introduces MIXTRAX™, a proprietary technology which creates a nonstop mix of an entire music library to create a club-like atmosphere.  Designed for music lovers and the club-going audience, MIXTRAX takes the music from an iPhone/iPod or USB/SD device and plays it back with added transitions and effects creating a virtual DJ inside select Pioneer products.  Derived from Pioneer’s experience in developing world-renowned professional DJ products, MIXTRAX is implemented in a variety of worldwide Pioneer car audio products and STEEZ products designed for the dance community. 

 “Music has a unique ability to affect our moods, our feelings, and even our energy levels.  With MIXTRAX, the listener hears the same kind of high-energy, nonstop mix they’d hear in a club or at a party, but now created seamlessly from their own music collection,” said Andy Parsons, senior vice president at Pioneer Electronics (USA) Inc.  “Pioneer’s MIXTRAX technology combines our rich DJ heritage with our passion for music and delivers a unique DJ infused listening experience to our customers.”

Pioneer’s MIXTRAX technology transforms a consumer’s music library into customizable tracks that can be processed by select Pioneer products.  Using Pioneer’s free MIXTRAX music management software, the user’s entire music collection is analyzed and various musical attributes including tempo and beats per minute (BPM) are identified.  The software then tags each song and creates an assortment of playlists categorized in different genres and musical styles such as Beat, Chill, and Thump.  The advanced analysis of the software identifies the best transition points of each song in the music library and seamlessly mixes and blends the tracks together, much like a DJ performing live. 

Additionally, the Mix Style can be selected between Active, Standard and Simple, adjusting the intensity of the effects and transitions used, and the duration of each track within the mix.  The custom MIXTRAX playlists can be transferred to a USB/SD memory device (not included) and played through an assortment of Pioneer in-car Audio Video products (see model list below) and STEEZ products, as well as transferred directly into STEEZ products for playback.  Pioneer’s in-car Audio Video receiver takes advantage of its large LCD touchscreen by animating the album art of the currently playing track in time with the mix, creating a truly unique in-vehicle music experience.

To easily and quickly enjoy nonstop mix of music, a simpler version of the technology called MIXTRAX EZ is built-in to several Pioneer in-dash products for both in-car CD receivers and in-car Audio Video receivers.  Featured in new in-car CD receivers (see model chart below), three types of DJ-style transitions (Flanger, Echo and Crossfade) and six sound effects (Backspin 1 and 2, Echo, Trans, Roll and Scratch) are automatically added between songs for a nonstop, continuous listening experience. 

To further enhance the “dance club in your car” atmosphere, the illumination buttons and display of the in-car CD receivers pulsates and changes color.  Two modes of illumination (defeatable), each with six color patterns, create different light effects to give users a cool and fun experience.     

The third in-vehicle implementation of MIXTRAX is in an iPhone App that can be used with Pioneer’s revolutionary AppRadio™, the first in-vehicle product designed to utilize the smartphone’s processing power, storage capacity, network connectivity and apps as the primary source for its information and entertainment capabilities.  Similar to the MIXTRAX software, the MIXTRAX iPhone App compares the tracks stored in the iPhone’s music library with Pioneer’s list of analyzed music stored in its Internet servers to identify musical characteristics and create custom playlists with DJ style effects and transitions for a nonstop mix of songs that can be played back and controlled through the Pioneer AppRadio.

Microsite: http://www.mixtrax-global.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/mixtrax/

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Hype Car Audio: Pioneer AppRadio (With Video)

Posted on 09.16.11 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

These days smartphones are getting smarter.  There are so many things we can do on our iPhones and Android phones that it is hard for most people to keep their hands off their mobile devices, especially while driving, which tends to have dangerous results.  Enter Pioneer’s “AppRadio“.  Essentially AppRadio is an in-dash device that ports compatible apps from the users smart phone onto its touchscreen in a more driver friendly format.  This way when a user wants to navigate their Pandora account they don’t need to pick up their phone to do it, they can just use the large touch screen on the AppRadio unit.  We think this is pretty awesome and could potentially save lives or at the very least save someone from a ticket.  The only downside is that it is only available for iPhone 4 users.  Hopefully Pioneer will develop this for Android and Blackberry users in the near future.  Check out the video below for Pioneer’s explanation of exactly how AppRadio works.

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