The BMW Group Technology Office in Palo Alto is working on extending MINI entertainment in ways that were hardly imaginable 3-4 years ago. We’ve talked about MINI Connected on MF before but we didn’t have a full understanding of what the program ultimately could produce.
The current idea is that MINI Connected will not only connect to the web for entertainment but will leverage an iPhone app to connect to the following content:
– Google Local Search
– Send to Car
Let’s start with webradio. The idea here is to allow for MINI Connected (essentially a new menu within the navigation system) to connect to your favorite web radio stations via your iPhone. With news it would be much the same simply displaying content on the screen leveraging the iPhone app (which would allow you to customize what is shown).
Google search would essentially replace the POI search within the navigation and allow you to quickly search up to date information and add it as a destination within your Nav.
Community is a little foggy but our understanding it that this could connect such sites as Twitter or Facebook (of course we all know that connecting to MF would be more valuable).
Finally the send to car allows you to receive directions or addresses from Google Maps on a computer.
In all MINI Connected is the first step in a fully connected (yes we couldn’t help ourselves) entertainment option. But this is just the first step. MINI intends to bring new entertainment options (some requiring an iPhone) to market over the next few years culminating in some pretty impressive features on the next generation MINI due out in 2013. In the meantime look for MINI Connected to debut with the life-cycle refresh at the Geneva Motorshow. If all goes well it should go on sale next fall.