For years I’ve thinking about this post but it has seemed so obvious so I didn’t bother writing it. But nothing happens so it’s time to put my thoughts down in writing and give one of my business ideas away.
The unexplored room of business development
The car industry has access to a very unique thing. 4 seats where people have different needs depending on age, sex, where you come from and where you’re heading. All of this in a small contained area that today is pretty boring and unexplored.
What if the car industry decided to start a company together, sort of a foundation like the mobile world has launched Symbian, that developed a new operative system optimized for cars. What would be the specs and how could it benefit the car brands.
The benefits would be enormous. Let’s brainstorm for a couple of minutes:
Maximum connectivity with USB, Firewire, SD card slot and Bluetooth accessibility and Wifi & wireless 3G broadband connection.
It’s pretty obvious. Getting internet into the car would not only enable me to download apps, stream videos, listen to internet radio and play online games but it would also enable me to upload stuff to the car from home. Sync videos, photos, software and more. On top of this I wouldn’t have to go to a garage to check up on problems with my car. Instead I would be able to hook up online and get a diagnose to see what the problem is all about. You could probably even get problems fixed without even going there at all.
Of course you should enable companies that manufacture physical gadgets the option hook em into the car. Say Electronic Arts loves your new open source environment and produces Tiger Woods 2010 to be played inside your car. Then of course another manufacturer of gaming controls should be allowed to hook up their shit.
On top of this everyone who want to should have the possibility to extract or insert data from/into the car. I can’t see the point why I should be able to back up my newly taken photographs straight into my car hard drive.
An application platform with open API
With an open API the car industry would open an a whole new business area. Entertainment, tools, information, sociala networking etc. Think for yourselves – if you could have anything you want on a screen while driving your car – what would it be?
Think about this, your need is totally different depending on your placement in the car. If you’re driving you need one setup of apps. If you’re in the seat besides the driver you have another need. In the back of your car you might have two kids trying their best not fall down dead from boredom. The possibilities are of course enormous. Ultimately the car industry would end up launching their own app store.
Graphic capabilities that could handle games as good as the ones for Xbox 360 and Playstation and play back High Definition (HD) and Blueray movies.
Build it and they will come. This was said by Kevin Costner in the movie field of dreams. And when it comes to this bullet it’s true to the bone. If the car industry would build a great OS that had the capabilities above every developer in the world would develop games for it. The entertainment industry would dance of joy. But even better – The kids traveling in the back of your car would shut up and enjoy the ride!
GPS and motion sensors
A no-brainer. You’re in a car. You’re traveling and you’re accessing information and applications that can become a lot richer if they can know about your whereabouts and what you’re doing. From a safety perspective we will see applications that monitor our driving and automatically calls the emergency number if we crash.
One touch-screen per seat!
And I really mean one screen per seat. Just as stated above the needs are very different and very individual for everyone traveling in a car. The OS should of course handle different profiles etc. When I get in to the drivers seat the OS should treat me in one way. When I sit my self in the passenger seat the system should treat me in another way. Shortly – let me have what I want!
Finally – branded applications
Of course, if you had this InCar OS installed in every car of your brand you should definitely add some branding to it. If I buy, say a BMW, with this OS i will of course expect applications and functionality tightly tied to BMW and their brand. Think about it – what an opportunity to strengthen relations and establish long term structural bindings.
To sum things up.
Car brands all over the world. Join forces. Hire the best developers from Apple and get going on your own ‘InCar OS’ and change our in-car experiences and your profits forever! (maybe before Apple does!)