Bosch mySPIN to turnaround smartphone integration in cars
Robert Bosch Engineering and Business Solutions, Koramangala (Bangalore) celebrated the growth of the Bosch mySPIN smartphone integration solution by announcing the availability of new apps on the platform.
This includes renowned Indian apps such as Moneycontrol, Justdial, Car Radio, UrSafe and Overdrive, and global apps like AccuWeather, Familo, Speaking Email and mySMS. The platform already had popular Indian apps available including MapMyIndia, Hungama, NDTV and Zomato.
Bosch mySPIN is a software layer integrated into a car’s infotainment system by the car manufacturer to enable a new way of smartphone integration. The mySPIN app is to be installed on the user’s smartphone, be it an iOS or an Android run device, on which the said consumer apps are to be installed and configured to the user’s preference. The phone is then connected to the car’s head unit via WLAN or data cable, to start the integration and stream the apps to the infotainment system. All the processing is done on the smartphone while the head unit acts as a display medium and interface of input. The carmakers will have control/restriction over the data, and the apps to be available on each of their car models.
Bosch mySPIN is very similar to Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, but the edge it has over the other two is that it is compatible with both the types of smartphones. While the vision of Bosch mySPIN is to provide a seamless integration of smartphone apps onto the head unit of cars for drivers’ convenience, the route Bosch takes is uncompromised safety. As soon as the smartphone is connected to the car via mySPIN, the phone screen goes blank becomes inaccessible. This keeps the driver from ever handling the phone. All access henceforth will be through the infotainment system, which can be operated by the steering mounted buttons.
For example, those who are borderline obsessed with the share market, who can’t keep their hands away from the phone even while driving to check the realtime stock prices, can be relieved by mySPIN as it displays the live prices of chosen companies on the head unit in a very legible interface. There is also an option to read out the stock prices of each company through the car speakers. For those who want to keep updated with the top stories of the day, news apps on mySPIN is programmed to display the titles on the big screen. When they are tapped, the text content is hidden and the news is read out aloud. When the car is stopped and neutral is engaged, the text becomes visible to read. A similar enforcement can be observed in almost all apps on mySPIN, to keep the driver focussed as much on driving as possible.
Taking the smartphone-vehicle integration to the next level, mySPIN allows access of ECU data to the apps, to open up a whole new chapter in the “connected car” era. For instance, when the fuel level of the car hits reserve, mySPIN passes that warning to the appropriate app which will popup directions to the nearest fuel station on the centre display. This is one of the many smart solutions to come in the avenue opened up by the mySPIN platform.
The safety aspect of Bosch mySPIN is inspired by European Union’s Driver Distraction Guidelines whose influence hasn’t been drawn in India yet through any other medium. So, once an OEM makes mySPIN available on their cars, such as Jaguar Land Rover, they automatically incorporate a good share of the Driver Distraction Guidelines. While the automakers have the authority to decide what apps are to be available on their cars, and what all wouldn’t be, the safety aspect of those apps would have been predefined by Bosch to meet the requirements of mySPIN.
Globally, mySPIN was launched a few years ago, and it now has around 50 app partners. The first launch of mySPIN in India was made in December 2015, and this is the second phase of the launch. While all of that is in the context of four wheelers, Bosch is looking for OEM partners to start working on mySPIN for two wheelers.