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Head of Development, ERTICO
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May 14, 2007

MEX 2007 Report: Paul Kompfner,
Head of Development, ERTICO

Posted in: Events

Paul KompfnerMEX CONFERENCE, LONDON — Paul Kompfner, Head of Development for ERTICO spoke in response to the following MEX manifesto point:

“The world is gaining embedded intelligence. The mobile industry faces a fundamental user experience challenge to make handsets as effective as communicating with the environment as they are with other humans. We think the connection of millions of machines to wireless communication networks represents the most significant generational change since the introduction of packet data.”

Imagine this: As you approach your vehicle, technology in your mobile phone interfaces with the car. It authenticates and unlocks for you. The seats, mirrors, radio stations adjust to your presets as you settle into the vehicle.

You start the car without need for a key. Your media in your device syncs with the larger capacity and capability of the vehicle. As you rocket down the highway listening to a favorite podcast, a call comes in. The volume reduces and you’re able to press a key on your steering wheel to take the call, never having had to take your eyes off the road.

Suddenly carrying around a device in our hand feels only mildly mobile. How does a user’s needs change when moving down a highway at 100mph? The automobile is the next frontier for the mobile user experience. Getting the experience right can mean the difference between life and death.

Telematics, once defined as the convergence of telecommunications and information processing, has evolved to refer to the same within automobiles.

Paul Kompfner says: The car and the handset are merging.

He went on to describe the ideal mobile experience:

1. Seamless transfer: The experience of moving from device to car to device is smooth and uninterrupted.
2. Integrated : The experience uses voice, display, and touch controls native to the car environment.
3. The experience is intuitive and context-aware.
4. Politeness : The experience has been carefully designed to only interrupt and/or notify you when absolutely necessary, and never force an interaction or nag incessantly.

An intriguing idea that Kompfner made was thinking of the car as a packet in a network. When each vehicle has a unique identifier and can communicate with both other cars and the surrounding roadway, new possibilities emerge from traffic flow control to accident prevention.

Other emerging spaces for telematics include:
- intelligent transportation systems
- pricing auto insurance
- fleet/container tracking
- recovering stolen vehicles
- collision notification
- accident prevention
- traffic rerouting
- entertainment systems
- satellite navigation
- integrated communications
- location-based driver services
- remote diagnostics
- diagnostic notifications

The groups broke out with a question to answer: What are some user scenarios and UI concerns could result when mobile is integrated with the car?

My group (Purple/#4, represent) identified key UI concerns as: safety, distraction, information overload, and notification priority.

Just as the device has a stack of rules which determines which notifications take priority over another, the vehicle should have its own stack which governs how much the vehicle attempts to control the environment or notify the driver of changing conditions.

Consider the role the mobile device takes on when you physically enter a smart vehicle, which can then enter a smart structure. How long before we begin to think of “docking” or “syncing” our cars to the garage instead of merely parking in them?

The ERTICO-sponsored Nomadic Device Forum will be kicked off in Brussels on 23 June 2007, and will focus on safety and the creation of a standardized interface or gateway into the vehicle.

Return to: MEX 2007 Report: Paul Kompfner,
Head of Development, ERTICO