Microsoft took the opportunity of its Build 2014 developers event this month to relay its concept for future Windows cars, simply Windows in the car. This is a platform that would take Windows Phone apps over to the car's interface. With this concept, contents of the Windows phone would be mirrored on the dash display screen using the MirrorLink standard.
Microsoft's Steve Teixeira, director of program management for the Internet of Things team in Microsoft's operating systems group, showed what the system display could look like in the Windows-focused car. "Imagine this a projection of my phone up on the vehicle screen," he said. One can pin common tasks, select different views, and have a "nifty swishy sound" in moving around. The driver might see on the dash display, for example, information on speed limits and other items that the driver needs to know at the moment. He noted the concept was also an opportunity for application builders to participate, with certain apps running when the car was in park and other apps they could write relevant to safe driving when the car is in drive. He talked about communication functions and integration with media sources. He noted this was not a casual concept but one "we are working seriously on."
The Verge pointed out that the connectivity standard being used, MirrorLink, is currently used by some models from Nokia and Sony "but it's expected to gain broader support if infotainment systems start to use the standard more. Volkswagen, Honda, Toyota, and Citroen are all working on cars with Mirrorlink support, and aftermarket car radio manufacturers Alpine and Pioneer are backing it."
The MirrorLink organization said its 100-plus members represent over 80 percent of the world's auto market and more than 70 percent of the global smartphone market. MirrorLink, an industry standard for in-vehicle connectivity, is from the Car Connectivity Consortium (CCC), and is promoted as an OS- and OEM-agnostic standard for smartphone connectivity, The standard is designed for interoperability between a range of smartphones and cars.