Aftermarket Kit with Siri “Eyes Free”

Amy Gilroy June 21, 2012 Comments Off

DICE (now Audiovox Driven by DICE) has added Siri capability to its MediaBridge car kits.

MediaBridgeBy pressing the steering wheel “voice” button in BMW, Volkswagen and Audi vehicles, drivers may ask Siri to send text messages or emails which they compose while cruising down the road.

Through a “conversation” with Siri, drivers can look up music, find maps, and find point of interest and other information.  It works via a Bluetooth connection to an iPhone with the $299 MediaBridge kit.

“Siri Eyes Free automotive integration is major for the aftermarket,” said DICE Executive VP Steve Witt. “The aftermarket can respond much more quickly than the automakers with Siri integration to get this feature into vehicles.  With Audiovox Driven by DICE MediaBridge products, consumers with compatible cars can enjoy this significant advancement now.”

DICE plans to add steering wheel control for Siri to other cars in the future.  In the meanwhile, those other cars may still hear Siri through the car’s speakers via the MediaBridge, they just can’t launch it from the steering wheel controls.

DICE partnered with Audiovox (VOXX) in February to become “Audiovox Driven by DICE.”   It said it has been working on the Siri steering wheel capability for 10 months.

“We did it quietly because we wanted to begin testing and validation in the actual cars, because a lot of the various cars have different control protocols,” said Witt.

The company will now begin promoting the feature, which can be added to earlier MediaBridge kits as a firmware update.

MediaBridge kits add iPod/iPhone control to a factory radio.  They also add Bluetooth calling and music streaming, optional Sirius, USB playback and Livio Radio.  They permit streaming of other Internet radio services like Pandora to the car radio over Bluetooth.

DICE is also in development on an Android car radio kit “and we will enable any voice control feature that becomes available in their architecture,” Witt said.

Source: CEoutlook

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