Apple’s Eyes Free: Official MINI USA Response

Yesterday Apple Introduced an API built into the new iOS6 that allows Siri to be mapped directly to a hardware button (like the voice command button) on a handful of automaker’s cars. Notable on that list for MINI fans was BMW. And it’s not surprising knowing that both MINI and BMW have worked hand in hand with Apple since the very first iPod integration in 2003. So what does this all mean for MINI and Siri? BMW will be getting the integration but there was no confirmation about MINI. In an effort close the loop we reached out to MINI USA to get their official response about Eyes Free and if we’ll see it in future MINIs. Check it out after the break.

Here’s the full text as sent to us:

BMW has been on the forefront of both in-car voice command as well as the integration of smartphones such as the Apple iPhone. The integration of Siri using the BMW voice command steering wheel controls is a logical next step. Apple’s new Eyes Free mode enables drivers to use Siri to interact with their iPhone by voice even in the car . Users can not only make a call but also tune in to their favorite music, send a text message, create reminders, set alarms or create events without ever having to look for their phone. BMW is planning to have Siri integration available by mid-2013.

At this time, we cannot confirm that the integration of Siri will be available for MINI vehicles in the near future.

  • You’d think that implementing this would be something as simple as a software update.  Here’s to hoping, fingers crossed!

  • Dr Obnxs

    It is as simple as a software update. But this response was a close to a content free business speak blerb as I’ve ever seen. To sum it up, BMW has a target date, but will make no promises.

    • It is not necessarily a software only update. Apple has a tendency to use authorization hardware (chips) for advanced functions. I have not seen Apple’s specs for this feature, but I would place my bet that Apple will require an auth chip to allow this (and collect money for the chips and additional royalties for the privilege of providing this service.) It could be done as software only, but as with other iPod / iPhone features, Apple’s history tells me differently.

  • All we need is a cigarette lighter mounted bluetooth-enabled button that sends the “hello Siri” signal, thus engaging Siri’s listen mode… no?

  • Jay

    Typical pr nonsense. So, basically, BMW states that Eyes Free is great, and coming at some point next year. Well, ok. 

    • walk0080

      And if it does come to MINI eventually it will probably not be a free retrofit or maybe no retrofit at all. Not that I really need Siri in my car right now. I am happy with FWD/BACK control of my music on the steering wheel. 🙂