MINI Unveils MINI Connected and Music Map Concepts

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The following is an excerpt from a larger BMW press release showing off some of the latest technology from the BMW Group’s innovation labs. While the MINI Connected is still in concept form, we do expect to see something like it in the near future. The likelyhood of the MINI Music Map on the other hand is unknown.

MINI Gets Connected – the New World of In-Car Entertainment.

Official Release: A very special vision has been in the process of becoming reality at MINI ever since the year 2001 – the vision to intensify the interaction of man and machine, to allow mutual communication of car and driver, and therefore to make the time you spend in your car as pleasant as possible. So how can information from the car be converted into exciting experiences and new functions for the occupants? The problem back then in 2001 was the lack of technologies required to implement the project.

Since then a lot has changed not only in the world of technology, but also in society. Today life takes place increasingly in the internet, communities such as Facebook adding new dimensions to social relations and making it easier to take up and maintain contacts across international and intercontinental borders. Web Radio, Blogging and RSS Feeds make data and information from all over the world readily available on your PC or MAC at home. And not just there, since rapid progress in the area of mobile terminals provides an increasing number of functions also while travelling, with users being online almost everywhere thanks to WLAN, UMTS and similar systems. So it is only obvious that the internet must be included in all considerations for today and the future.

In this ongoing development of both technology and society, the vision of former years is now becoming reality. MINI Connected brings the modern world of communication into the MINI and opens up brand-new perspectives in use – or, to put it in other words: MINI Connected shows what is possible when integrating an internet-compatible consumer electronics (CE) device such as a Smartphone into a MINI and intentionally feeding it with specific data from the car.

As an innovative spearhead in technology, the MINI Connected prototype for the first time demonstrates the comprehensive integration of CE devices into the car, bringing together the vehicle itself, mobile information, and entertain- ment to create a completely new world.

“MINI Connected blends the world of modern communication with the automotive world of MINI, by using vehicle data for entertainment features for the first time.” (Florian Reuter, MINI Product Management)

MINI Connected communicates via the iPhone in two directions, providing two different concepts in the process: “MINI Connected Live” and “MINI Connected Buddy”. The “MINI Connected Live” Project uses access to the internet through a Smartphone to provide a connection to the world outside the car. Apart from web functions such as a local search or the use of web radio in the car, “MINI Connected Live” allows direct connections to social communities such as Facebook or Twitter. Such integration allows the intuitive use of all functions through the car-specific MINI control concept. “MINI Connected Buddy”, on the other hand, enables the Smartphone to access vehicle- and environment-specific car data through a vehicle interface specifically configured for this purpose, then using such data for various functions.

One example is Mission Control, where the car refers the driver through its own voice to incidents in the vehicle itself and the surrounding area. Quite literally, therefore, the MINI communicates directly with the driver.

Taking signals from the car, “Dynamic Music”, as another example, generates the appropriate sound track. The dynamic behaviour of the vehicle is converted directly into acoustic feedback and the music is adjusted accordingly. So together with sound effects matching the music played, the occupants in the MINI experience the joy of motoring also through the music they hear.

The MINI Music Map.

Introducing the MINI Music Map, MINI presents a simple and attractive option for the future, showing how increasing data volume in music archives may be kept easily accessible and controllable in the car. To do this, music is structured like on a map, forming various islands with different genres or artists. This map concept offers a number of benefits: First, it provides a quick overview of the music files; second, it allows rapid access to the desired music files in just a few steps.

Portable data memories these days have increasing capacity. The latest iPod Classic, for example, offers up to 160 GB memory for music or other files – equal to some 40,000 songs to which the customer would like to have access also while driving. And how such enormous amounts of music data may be made accessible in the vehicle in future, we see from the MINI Music Map Research Project, with the driver taking his music collection along every time he goes for a drive.

“Particularly on long distances, you don’t want entertainment to become a difficult chore. So the MINI Music Map takes care of your entertainment requirements all by itself.” (Dr Verena Broy, Project Manager MINI Music Map)

  • KPH

    Fine. Just keep in mind the reason people are sitting in this particular car is directly in front of them at 10 and 2 and in the seat of their pants. And at worst “..difficult chore.” just means the CD I’m looking for is under the seat or covered with something from Carl’s Jr. Come on!

  • beken

    I would much prefer to drive my MINI than fiddle with this iDrive-like “feature”.

  • I for one welcome this advance and wish that someone will figure out a way to port it to my 07 R56.

  • Agree with Mike… I hope they allow upgrades for previous models (R55 for me). And that they address the clunky GPS interface while they’re there….


    This is a step in the right direction as on pleasure drives and MINI Runs I need my beats! The new H/K 480W 10 Speaker SOund System was the very first step in this direction. If you haven’t heard it yet make your way down to your local MINI Dealer. It Blows anything else except for the DPSM away in power but has significantly more clarity.

  • They need to stay away from DVD based systems. For best results I would stick with a system that is just as easy to use as an iPhone. Swipe, double tap, pinch, and that crap, but give it a MINI flair. At the end of the day it has to make driving fun, easy, MINI, and not piss people off. No one really likes the little joystick idea. I know MINI reads stuff like this so keep it touch based with basic nav options on the wheel, but don’t clutter it up to much.

  • @IT WRKS: Hmm – curious to check out the new H/K soon… hard to believe it is more clear than the DPSM – which is pretty damn clear! 🙂

  • zm

    would love to see this. hopefully the price tag won’t be too hefty, although, they’ll prob just throw it in w/ the nav.

  • Haemish – you DO NOT need to try and retrofit this into your car!!!!

  • that.guy


  • Rocketboy

    Just don’t be jerks and make this an iPod only deal. Some of the Cool Kids have Zunes as well, or just use open standard based media players that appear as removable storage to a PC.

    That, and I really don’t want my car having a Twitter or a Facebook page. What’s next, it’s going to start posting on 4chan?

  • r.burns

    iPod is about 95% of all mp3 players, so you understand that iPod compatibility is more important than with Creative or anything else

  • jon


    The mini music map is interesting, but no big breakthrough, just a visualization screen. The web radio is a natural step. So for 2000 € i’d still buy 10x TomTom’s over this, or 5x Iphones. kthxbye.

    Hint for mini: Look at both, the Nissan GTR and the new Renaultsport Megane on board computers. S and Works models should have proper gauges, not some aftermarket aftertought.

  • Zunes make up, count it, 1% of MP3 players. You should also go by Toyota Yaris too. I hear they are nice.

  • @Michael Babischkin: I wouldn’t dream of it. Besides, it’s all 2nd Gen stuff… won’t work in my R53. I am extremely happy with the sound of the DPSM, and can’t imagine wanting to put anything else in. I’m just curious about the comment of IT WRKS… hard to imagine the new H/K is any more clear than the DPSM!

  • Michael

    Information Overload.

    Too much to do while trying to avoid an accident.

    Very bad idea and concept.

  • I just want to know how Team Bridger did at 24 hours de lemons????

  • Chad

    r.burns, mind providing a citation for that?

  • DUDE: you can see pics and a sneak peek here:

  • I actually made it through all of them… Thanks for the link.

  • Me parece una excelente idea!!!

  • Rocketboy

    “iPod is about 95% of all mp3 players” marketing.

    I fixed it for you.

  • r.burns

    I also have a Creative Jukebox 3, and a Rio Karma which have got the “best ever quality” and so on… but you know what ? iPod is a standard and, easy to use..

    It may be a shame, it’s the life…

  • Facebook in your car, now there’s a bad idea.

    That said, however, web-radio in the car is something I’ve been wanting for 8 years…

  • Rocketboy_x

    By standard, you mean a proprietary system, then yes, it is very standard.

    Standard would be the what the Sansas of the world do, and only appear as external storage to a PC. That’s a standard. Needing specific software is not a standard.

  • alpinamike

    MINI is taking cues from genius on itunes.

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