Abalta Technologies says its WEBLINK car connectivity software can help put smartphone apps in cars, replicating the smartphone app user experience.
Abalta says WEBLINK can run on all major smartphone operating systems. Existing HTML5 apps can be customized to fit automakers’ brand preferences, geographical regions, demographic groups, or (almost) whatever.
In addition to running HTML5 cloud-based applications and services, Abalta is working on integrating native applications to WEBLINK. The apps can be viewed on the car’s head-unit while running natively on the smartphone, so they are not dependent on cloud connectivity. The catalog currently includes:
Internet radio – Slacker, Rdio, and TuneIn,
Navigation and traffic management – Inrix, Glympse, WEBNAV (by TeleCommunication Systems, Inc.), and Gas Price Guide (by Abalta),
Points of Interest – Yelp, Wcities International City Guide, and Wcities Hotel Finder,
Voice broadcasting – Vobok,
Parking finders – Parkopedia, Best Parking, and Parkme, and
Weather – Accuweather.
Abalta suggests that WEBLINK should appeal to app developers who wish to avoid the costs and/or hassles involved in deploying apps across multiple proprietary infotainment systems. Because it leverages smartphone browsers and operating systems, automakers aren’t forced to maintain a web browser on their cars’ head units to stay current. WEBLINK renders the application to the correct size of the head unit, avoiding image distortion or stretching.
“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,” says Abalta president and CEO Michael O’Shea.
“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, Telecommunication Systems senior vice president, Navigation & Telematics.
Vobok founder and CEO Priyam Parikh adds, “Consumers expect 24/7 access to their social networks, and time spent driving is no exception. 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.”
S1nn, which focuses on solutions in infotainment, telematics, connectivity, and audio systems, plans to integrate WEBLINK into its head unit platform. It says it will be able to offer automakers an infotainment system featuring up-to-date, customized apps.