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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Pioneer Hackathon Showcases Upcoming AppRadio Apps [Video]

CarTourin' might be the next app coming to your AppRadio
The 2012 SEMA Show (Special Equipment Market Association) recently concluded in Las Vegas, NV. At the show, Pioneer Electronics held its first "AppRadio Hackathon" which was meant to get developers make apps that were AppRadio compatible. There were prizes to be won too, totaling over $50,000 in cash and merchandise. Well, the results are in and there were some interesting things that came out from the show.

Pioneer announced the winners of the Hackathon this week. There were three major app categories. Here is an excerpt from the release from Pioneer:

Developers chose from three popular app categories: safe in-vehicle use of Social Networking Services (SNS) through a voice recognition and text-to-speech interface; geo-fenced or geo-tagged automotive related location based services (LBS); and apps that incorporate a technology, product or service from a 2012 SEMA exhibitor. The first-place 2012 AppRadio Hackathon winners are the following developers:
Voice Interface Social Networking Automotive App 
App name: Tiles 
Developers: Ali Haeri, Evan Chen and Hannah Choo  
Tiles is a social networking app that automatically aggregates the most relevant social media content by taking into account current time, location, and social activity of the user. Content is then served in news ticker format in the user’s Facebook page or Twitter account, with new tiles appearing as they become relevant. Each tile contains two “action buttons,” allowing interaction with the content using AppRadio’s speech-to-text and voice recognition technology allowing the user to hear a Facebook posting or tweet and focus on driving.
The Tiles app also allows for targeted advertising ? the “advertising tile” which has the same look and feel as the other tiles and is seamlessly integrated with social media postings. Local advertising tiles can trigger navigation upon tap and also have the ability to be hyper-targeted, from a specific advertisement to pop up based on the user’s particular interests (from their social profile) to drivers in a certain vicinity of businesses.  
Location-Based Services (LBS) App 
App name: CarTourin’ 
Developer: Jad Meouchy 
CarTourin’ is a sightseeing app that uses location-based services to guide users along a series of tour destinations. Instead of sitting on a crowded tour bus, users have the ability to take a guided tour from the comfort of their own vehicle. On the screen of the AppRadio display, available tours in the users’ area pop up on the screen with information about tour pricing, ratings, categories and more. Users also have the ability to load destinations into a routed Google Map. 
At checkpoints during the tour, information and photos pop up on the screen as well as interactive trivia that can be redeemed for premium content and shared with friends over social media. When the driver reaches their final destination, the app will congratulate thetour-taker for their completion, and will reward them with special offers related to the subject of the tour including coupons to nearby activities, restaurants, and special discounted rates to other attractions. Users also have the option to leave feedback about thetour and the option to share it with friends. 
SEMA Member Automotive Accessory App 
App name: CAMBUDDY Drive 
Developer: Mike Kai 
CAMBUDDY Drive is an app that allows the user to create a comprehensive and compelling driving video experience which can be shared with friends on Facebook or uploaded directly to YouTube. With the app, the driver can control a GoPro Hero3 camera from inside his or her car. Recorded video is overlayed with real-time performance visualization using the PLX Kiwi 2 and iPhone sensors. 
The app is ideal for anyone who wants to capture their car adventure from off-roading to taking a cruise to the beach. The live video feed can also help with safety by improving visibility in blind areas and providing greater driver awareness of their surroundings
Each team/app was judged based on their (1) Adherence to category; (2)Originality of the idea; (3) Ability to articulately present the application; (4) Technology used in the application and (5) User Interface design and adherence to provided guidelines for screen resolution and orientation. Judges of the Hackathon included two Pioneer executives, a creative agency co-founder, an editor from GEEK magazine, and a SEMA executive. These judges come from a variety of backgrounds, ranging from the automotive and aftermarket car audio industry, creative to technology.
I like the idea behind the CarTourin' app. There were plenty of other apps that unfortunately didn't win. Although there is no comprehensive list of those apps it is safe to assume there are more AppRadio compatible apps coming soon.

Pioneer has posted videos from the AppRadio Hackathon on its YouTube channel. You can check them out by clicking here. One of the videos is below.


  1. It would be great to install this on a car. Also adding GPS would enhance its functionality. Pioneer should tie up with car manufacturers to give customers a better experience with navigation.

  2. Pioneer has been a common fixture in car interior components because of the quality of their audio system. When I read this post, I have to admit that I felt excited with their venture on manufacturing video players.

  3. After we purchase the used car, we’ll definitely install apps in AppRadio. With this application it can make our car like a brand new one!

  4. That cartourin' app looks like a great idea. Now all they need is to get that upgraded into a full gps system with full voice support for important locations, and have that slapped up to car radios as an optional accessory that car dealers can offer to buyers.


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