Looking to make the roads just a wee bit safer, RIM and BMW teamed up to create an interesting little application. The app syncs the email from a BlackBerry to a BMW via Bluetooth. Not only does it carry over emails, but also adds a user's entire contact database. At RIM's Wireless Enterprise Symposium, I was able to take a look at how this app works.
RIM and BMW had installed the application on a 2010 335is convertible (*want*). Contacts and emails are displayed on the same screen that displays navigation information and the other content controlled by the car's iDrive system. Using the iDrive knob in the center console, users can sort through their inbox.
If you're thinking that reading emails from a car dashboard isn't much safer than reading them from a handheld, you're right. That's why you can't read emails while the car is in motion. You can only see the sender and subject info. What you can do, however, is have the emails read to you via the car's speakers. The volume can be cranked loud enough that emails are easily heard over any road noise that actually manages to permeate the Bimmer's lush cabin.
Another useful feature allows users to initiate a phone call when a phone number has been embedded in an email. No dialing necessary. The call is automatically routed to the speakerphone function of the car.
In all, the application can help email addicts stay on top of their inbox while driving between meetings and do so in a safer manner.
Here's a video of how it works: