Kenwood Car Decks to Read Email

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Finally, it looks like aftermarket suppliers are waking up to the new reality that people want more from a car radio than music, navigation and video.
Kenwood said it will offer next year the ability to “read aloud” text and email messages in its car AV radios via a Bluetooth connection to a smartphone.
The car AV radios will permit text to speech conversion of one’s email/text messages, providing the user’s smartphone supports the feature over Bluetooth.
The features should be available on Kenwood’s multimedia head units during 2011, with a debut most likely at CES in January. The following year, the feature may migrate to Kenwood CD radios.
Several industry members believe text to speech conversion of email and text messages could be a killer app for the car. Ford has offered part of this feature (text only, not email) for several years through its Sync radios. Up to 34 percent of Sync owners use the text feature said Ford. It would be even more popular but only a small number of phones are compatible as shown here.
Ford will branch out to email delivery through the radio as it rolls out its WiFi/3G capability as announced in January.
Azentek is also planning to offer text to speech delivery of email in its long awaited Atlas Car PC, which at last check, was due to ship soon. The $2,700 car PC will allow users to pull up to a WiFi hotspot to download email messages that may be read aloud to the user as he drives.
Up to 77 million drivers are tech enthusiasts said Ford, quoting the Consumer Electronics Association and more than half of these want “connected communications” and information in their vehicles, it said.

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1 Comment

  1. Yeah…. Azentek’s fabled vaporware, the in-dash car PC…. Like we’ll ever see a production model. They’ve been showing the same radios for like 5 years now. Don’t hold yer breath.

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