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Apping the AppRadio: Pioneer’s Hackathon

Sections: Aftermarket, Infotainment

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Pioneer Electronics is very hip to their AppRadio- a device that bridges the gap between the smartphone and the vehicle.  They know the unit will only grow in popularity if AppRadio specific apps are created.  So at this year’s SEMA (Specialty Equipment Manufacturers Association) show in Las Vegas, they held a Hackathon and threw some big prize money behind it to spawn the creation of new Apps.  Check the press release below for more details on the event.

Pioneer Electronics (USA) Inc. today announced the winners of its first AppRadio Hackathon held during the 2012 Specialty Equipment Manufacturers Association (SEMA) Show at the Las Vegas Convention Center. The 69-hour event had more than 81 registered developers, some of whom had traveled from different parts of the country.  They competed to develop the best new apps to be compatible with Pioneer’s AppRadio products, the revolutionary in-dash smartphone powered audio system that enables consumers to use and control compatible apps directly from their touchscreen displays.*

The continuous three-day competition created nine new ideal apps designed to work with the AppRadio platform, ranging from popular Facebook postings and tweets that can be read to drivers to car maintenance that measures tire pressure and air leaks.

 “The response to our very first Hackathon has been overwhelming and has allowed us to engage personally with some of the most creative and innovative app developers around the nation and expose them to the SEMA member community of accessories manufacturers,” said Ted Cardenas, vice president of marketing for the Car Electronics Division of Pioneer Electronics (USA) Inc. “Overall the event established our goals in exposing the AppRadio platform to developers and generating more excitement for our products and the automotive industry as a whole.  Most importantly, it produced great ideas for unique apps that further put us in the forefront of smartphone connectivity in the car.”

Developers chose from three popular app categories:  safe in-vehicle use of Social Networking Services (SNS) through a voice recognition and text-to-speech interface; geo-fenced or geo-tagged automotive related location based services (LBS); and apps that incorporate a technology, product or service from a 2012 SEMA exhibitor.

 The first-place 2012 AppRadio Hackathon winners are the following developers:

 Voice Interface Social Networking Automotive App

App name: Tiles

Developers: Ali Haeri, Evan Chen and Hannah Choo

o             Tiles is a social networking app that automatically aggregates the most relevant social media content by taking into account current time, location, and social activity of the user. Content is then served in news ticker format in the user’s Facebook page or Twitter account, with new tiles appearing as they become relevant. Each tile contains two “action buttons,” allowing interaction with the content using AppRadio’s speech-to-text and voice recognition technology allowing the user to hear a Facebook posting or tweet and focus on driving.

o             The Tiles app also allows for targeted advertising – the “advertising tile” which has the same look and feel as the other tiles and is seamlessly integrated with social media postings.  Local advertising tiles can trigger navigation upon tap and also have the ability to be hyper-targeted,  from a specific advertisement to pop up based on the user’s particular interests (from their social profile) to drivers in a certain vicinity of businesses.

 

Location-Based Services (LBS) App

App name: CarTourin’

Developer: Jad Meouchy

o             CarTourin’ is a sightseeing app that uses location-based services to guide users along a series of tour destinations. Instead of sitting on a crowded tour bus, users have the ability to take a guided tour from the comfort of their own vehicle. On the screen of the AppRadio display, available tours in the users’ area pop up on the screen with information about tour pricing, ratings, categories and more.  Users also have the ability to load destinations into a routed Google Map.

o             At checkpoints during the tour, information and photos pop up on the screen as well as interactive trivia that can be redeemed for premium content and shared with friends over social media. When the driver reaches their final destination, the app will congratulate the tour-taker for their completion, and will reward them with special offers related to the subject of the tour including coupons to nearby activities, restaurants, and special discounted rates to other attractions. Users also have the option to leave feedback about the tour and the option to share it with friends.

 

SEMA Member Automotive Accessory App

App name: CAMBUDDY Drive

Developer: Mike Kai

o             CAMBUDDY Drive is an app that allows the user to create a comprehensive and compelling driving video experience which can be shared with friends on Facebook or uploaded directly to YouTube. With the app, the driver can control a GoPro Hero3 camera from inside his or her car. Recorded video is overlayed with real-time performance visualization using the PLX Kiwi 2 and iPhone sensors.

o             The app is ideal for anyone who wants to capture their car adventure, from off-roading to taking a cruise to the beach. The live video feed can also help with safety by improving visibility in blind areas and providing greater driver awareness of their surroundings.

 

Each team/app was judged based on their (1) Adherence to category; (2) Originality of the idea; (3) Ability to articulately present the application; (4) Technology used in the application and (5) User Interface design and adherence to provided guidelines for screen resolution and orientation.   Judges of the Hackathon included two Pioneer executives, a creative agency co-founder, an editor from GEEK magazine, and a SEMA executive.  These judges come from a variety of backgrounds, ranging from the automotive and aftermarket car audio industry, creative to technology.

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