A job listing posted by Microsoft recently hints at the future integration of its many technologies into vehicles. With a heavy focus on in-car user interface, this could mean the inclusion of Xbox Kinect and Windows 8 to Cars.
As stated in the job post:
For the next generation of the Connected Car Platform, we plan to leverage the full power of the Microsoft ecosystem including Kinect, Windows 8, Windows Phone, Windows Live, Bing, Azure and Tellme. The combination of rich local sensing, user identification, cloud access and data mining will transform tomorrow’s cars from passive object to intelligent assistants for both driver and their passengers.
The new Connected Car will know its riders, and will interact with them naturally via speech, gestures and face tracking. It will learn their habits, and offer personalized contextual information and driving assists to get them to their destination as quickly and safely as possible. Through a growing catalogue of applications, it will inform and entertain them, and keep them connected with the people and information they care about. The possibilities are endless.
Gesture-based Controls on Vehicles
Although adding a Kinect controller onto a dashboard seems out of the question, car manufacturers such as BMW and Mercedes-Benz are said be working on gesture-based controls for their vehicles. Considering that the Washington-based software giant already has the technology, it won’t be surprising if the company would want to be an embedded player in the mobile device arena.
This won’t be first time that Microsoft features are being used in the automotive industry. In fact, its Windows Embedded architecture has been employed by various car manufacturers such as Honda, Nissan, Aston Martin and BMW. The company has also partnered with Ford to launch its Sync system, as well as Kia’s UVO infotainment setup and Fiat’s Blue&Me in-car entertainment and navigation functionalities.
Aside from its wide array of automaker partners, Microsoft has showed of its capabilities earlier this year. The company joined forces with the West Coast Customs and they outfitted a 1967 Ford Mustang with a Metro-inspire user interface, Sync integration, and two Kinect controllers that monitor the motion and object at the front and rear of the car. It also has heads-up display that features Bing Maps integration, turn-by-turn directions and point-of-interest search.
Whether Microsoft’s gestured-based technologies will be integrated into cars remains to be seen. Nevertheless, this hint means that Apple’s Eyes Free application for vehicles will soon have its competitor.
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