Abalta WEBLINK supports additional smartphone apps
June 3, 2013 by John Day
The WEBLINK car connectivity solution replicates the smartphone app user experience.
According to the company, WEBLINK’s ability to run on all major smartphone operating systems enables app developers to design driver-centric apps. Existing HTML5 apps can be deployed to the in-vehicle environment and customized for OEM brands, target demographic groups, geographical regions or user preference. As smartphones increase in processing power and capabilities, so will the vehicle’s infotainment system.
WEBLINK supports many new app categories, including:
- Internet Radio: Slacker, Rdio, TuneIn
- Navigation and Traffic Management: Inrix, Glympse, WEBNAV by TeleCommunication Systems, Inc. (TCS), and Gas Price Guide by Abalta Technologies
- Points of Interest: Yelp, Wcities International City Guide, Wcities Hotel Finder
- Voice Broadcasting: Vobok
- Parking Finder: Parkopedia, Best Parking, Parkme
- Weather: Accuweather
In addition to running HTML5 cloud-based applications and services, Abalta is working on integrating native applications to WEBLINK. Applications such as web-based 3D Navigation with landmarks, real-time traffic, and local points of interest can be viewed on the car’s head-unit while running natively on the Smartphone and thus not dependent on cloud connectivity.
“WEBLINK simplifies development, and facilitates integration with 3D Navigation and other relevant applications into the auto ecosystem without developers having to worry about porting to multiple operating systems,” said Austin Klahn, senior vice president, Navigation & Telematics, TCS.
“Consumers expect 24/7 access to their social networks, and time spent driving is no exception,” said Priyam Parikh, architect of Vobok, and founder and CEO of Vobok Inc. “Users love Vobok’s tap-to-talk functionality, and the integration with WEBLINK means drivers don’t have to sacrifice safety to instantly connect with their social networks.”
Abalta’s WEBLINK provides a solution for developers who wish to avoid the costs and/or development issues involved in deploying several apps across multiple proprietary infotainment systems. It leverages the smartphone browsers of any operating system so OEMs are not forced to add and maintain a web browser on their vehicle head unit to stay current. The software also renders the application to the correct size of the head unit, avoiding image distortion or stretching.
“After a successful launch in March, WEBLINK has quickly attracted a large number of high-end applications such as Yelp, Inrix, Rdio, Accuweather, and more,” said Michael O’Shea, president and CEO of Abalta Technologies. “By using HTML5 for running applications, we are able to make the development process quite simple, allowing us to focus on styling each service to a suitable automotive layout.”
S1nn head unit
Abalta also announced that its WEBLINK platform will be integrated in the head unit platform of S1nn, which focuses on solutions in infotainment, telematics, connectivity, and audio systems. By integrating the WEBLINK client software, S1nn will be able to offer car manufacturers an infotainment system featuring up-to-date and customized apps specifically tailored for a safe and seamless experience.
S1nn believes that WEBLINK provides the most flexible approach to integrate mobile web applications into an automotive environment. Enabling both mobile and automotive versions of an application at minimal extra cost is a key factor for further integration of mobile services into vehicles, offering an attractive path for new entrants in this space as well as specific vertical or regional applications.
“We have had an exciting month showing demos of the S1nn WEBLINK-enabled head unit system to major car makers in Detroit and look forward to continued interest “The flexibility of WEBLINK as a brought-in connectivity solution is complementary to S1nn’s approach of providing best in class built-in IVI systems,” said S1nn managing director Philipp Popov. “We believe car makers now feel they need to be able to provide dual solutions and with WEBLINK we enable all drivers to safely enjoy their favorite smartphone applications while driving.”