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5/20/2010
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Nokia Releases Spec For Mobile Apps In Cars

Audi, BMW, Daimler, Porsche, and Volkswagen are on board with the technology specification for integrating mobile applications into automobiles.

Nokia and the CE4A (Consumer Electronics for Automotive), a group made up of five major automotive companies, have released a Terminal Mode technology specification that they are pitching as an industry standard to integrate mobile applications into cars.

Nokia and the CE4A, made up of Audi, BMW, Daimler, Porsche, and Volkswagen, on Wednesday released the Terminal Mode specification, which is open to all automotive and mobile device manufacturers.

"The average person spends between 1 and 2 hours per day in their car," Nokia said in a March 4 statement introducing Terminal Mode. "Given that their smartphone not only holds their favorite music but now, if it is a Nokia smartphone, comes with free worldwide navigation services (Ovi Maps), the next logical step is to provide an easy way to connect their smartphone to their car. This way services and content from the mobile can be fully integrated with the in-car speakers, displays and control systems."

A consumer, for example, would be able to access all music and applications from a handset.

The connection, Nokia added, should be two-way, enabling the driver to use a smartphone to access performance information about the vehicle. Timo Ali-Vehmas, Nokia's head of compatibility and industry collaboration, said the specification demonstrates Nokia's commitment to creating partnerships within the car industry and other mobile manufacturers.

"Nokia is an active member of many open standardization initiatives and forums globally, and is keen to enable open collaboration and broader use of innovation for the faster adoption of new services and products for the benefit of consumers," Ali-Vehmas said in a statement.

Nokia is not the only mobile company that wants to push mobile technologies in the automotive industry. BlackBerry maker Research In Motion announced on April 9 that it had agreed to buy Harman International's QNX, an in-vehicle infotainment and telematics system.

And on May 12, Samsung, Sprint and Citrix Systems announced that the Samsung Moment smartphone was the first Android device to pass the Citrix Systems Certification, a program that identifies third-party solutions that can be paired with the virtual desktop capabilities in a Citrix Receiver, which extends virtualization, networking and cloud computing solutions to mobile platforms.

Among the mobile environments under consideration for a Citrix Receiver is Ford's Ford Work Solution program, which is deployed in many of its pickup trucks and vans. With the receiver, a driver could access remote information or business tools from a smartphone, using the tools on the dashboard.

"By combining the strengths of Sprint and Samsung with Citrix, businesses can gain the ability to utilize mobile computing not only from a handheld device or PC/laptop/netbook perspective, but to extend the capability to the true road warrior environment," the companies said in a statement.

The technology specification release 0.9 is available for a free download here.

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