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iconmobile group develops revolutionary mobile device for Audi’s metroproject quattro

(PresseBox) (Berlin, ) > The Audi mobile device combines the functions of a cell phone with those of a mobile control unit
> Audi drivers can use the elegant solution as a media player, address database and entry tool for navigation
> The device features a touchscreen and handwriting recognition for data entry

On the opening day of the Tokyo Motor Show, there was broad agreement among visitors to the Audi stand: the design study that Audi has unveiled as the metroproject quattro has revolutionized the sub-compact category. The most recent design from the Ingolstadt-based automotive company presents visionary technological solutions that take efficiency, dynamism and motoring pleasure to the next dimension.
The technological achievements of the three-door four-seater with a hybrid drive include the removable Audi mobile device. The new hardware functions as a universal mobile terminal that combines the functions of a cell phone with those of a mobile control unit. Audi drivers can use the device as a music and video player, address database and entry tool for navigation. It allows them to turn on the car’s heater before they leave the house and program the sound system to reflect their personal tastes. The device also functions as an access authorization system, making a traditional car key unnecessary. During drives it is slipped into a slot underneath the central dashboard.

The mobile device is the result of a close collaboration between Audi and the Berlin-based iconmobile group, which was chosen for the project because of its unique combination of design and technological expertise. The internationally active mobile specialists were responsible for the hardware, the user interface and the complete software package. The user interface designed by iconmobile is based on the menu navigation of the metroproject quattro design study. It is controlled by fingertip or stylus, and some information, such as travel destinations, can be written by hand. The system is capable of recognizing Latin and Japanese characters. Communication between the car and the device is based on WLAN and UMTS. If the device is far from the car, the system automatically switches to the UMTS network.

“Audi is the first carmaker to move toward a comprehensive bundling of functionality in mobile devices. It is showing us what mobility will look like in the future – the cell phone will function as a universal remote control for our digital lifestyles,” says Adrian Le Hanne, CTO of the iconmobile group.

When writing the mobile software, the Berlin-based agency faced a number of new challenges. Among other things, communication between the on-board electronic system and the device needed to be developed from scratch. The handwriting recognition solution that is integrated into the touch-sensitive screen is a pioneer achievement for the mobile sector.

iconmobile GmbH

iconmobile group is an international market leader for mobile business applications and a specialized agency with expertise in design and technology. At offices in Berlin, Munich, London, Sydney, Antibes, Los Angeles and Tokyo, its over 120 employees develop user-friendly applications for mobile handsets, including portals for mobile network operators, Symbian and Java client applications, mobile Flash animations, as well as browser-based services. The agency covers the entire service range, from consulting, concept development and design to implementation and hosting. The group´s clients include international mobile network operators, Internet companies, handset manufacturers, publishers and representatives of the consumer goods industry.