During a Google+ Hangout hosted by TechnoBuffalo's own Jon Rettinger, Honda on Tuesday announced new in-car connectivity technology in an effort to make your automotive experience smarter. By combining the powers of new HondaLink tech and Siri Eyes Free integration in its 2014 Civic, the automaker is betting on a system that will be familiar to today's growing tech-savvy population. Honda isn't typically known for the most cutting-edge in-dash infotainment experience, but the company may have concocted the perfect blend for tomorrow's driver.
Honda's HondaLink technology is essentially the company's way of beaming and integrating your digital lifestyle with your car. The platform is application-based, and features four specific experiences at launch, including Connect App for location services and weather, and a Navigation App, which features Nokia's HERE mapping data. Only Apple's three most recent iPhones—5, 5c and 5s—are compatible when the 2014 Civic becomes available tomorrow, though future Android support is planned for next year.
HondaLink also features a Launcher App, which organizes Honda-approved third party apps, and something called Assist, which provides emergency assistant to drivers. One of the bigger aspects of HondaLink is its Display Audio system, which is essentially like having a touchscreen tablet in your car; Display Audio will debut on the Civic EX model and above, and also make an appearance in the 2015 Fit, which is set to arrive next spring. The display itself is seven inches, and features a UI not unlike smartphone OSes we're familiar with today.
Siri Eyes Free integration has been talked about for awhile now, and essentially allows drivers to control their device by voice-only. There will be a TALK button right on the steering wheel, which can be pressed to access Siri on a Bluetooth-connected iPhone. Eyes Free will let drivers send text and email, ready incoming text and email, setup calendar events, reminders and alarms, and get turn-by-turn navigation.
The experience sounds pretty awesome, and makes the driving experience more compatible with your digital lifestyle. Tactile buttons and interfaces are fun and all, but touchscreen in-dash systems are the future—making that as hands-free as possible will hopefully become a huge trend in the future. For more information on what Honda's new system has to offer, just check out the Google+ Hangout from today.