By B.Y. Yang
Overseas Promotion Team
The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is the world’s largest annual exhibition where the latest high-tech gadgets and goods are often unveiled for the very first time. Following our first appearance at CES in 2009, Kia Motors is unveiling its ‘UVO powered by Microsoft®’ in-car infotainment system along with other cutting edge automotive technologies at this year’s show, which kicked off on January 7th in Las Vegas. Below are some technical details of the new innovations being shown at Kia’s CES booth.
The world’s most advanced in-car multimedia system
Kia Motors’ all-new “UVO” in-car infotainment system, which was created in collaboration with Microsoft, delivers voice recognition controls, enhanced hands-free Bluetooth® connectivity and true, high- performance interactivity with mobile multimedia.
The UVO unit, which features a jukebox, a five-disc CD player and an external amplifier, is fitted with a 4.3-inch display screen that can broadcast images from a vehicle’s rear backup camera (on all UVO- equipped Kia vehicles in the U.S.), as well as the regular program or mode related information.
UVO also features 1GB of embedded memory with CD-ripping and MP3-copying capabilities. Once saved to the hard drive, music files are searchable by track, album name, artist and genre through the intuitive and user-friendly menu system.
Also, Kia buyers will be able to add HD Radio to their UVO unit to further enhance their listening pleasure.
Revolutionary touch-panel transforms user feedback
Kia Motors’ all-new “UVO” in-car infotainment system will introduce a revolutionary touch-sensitive control panel that promises to deliver unique interaction with the user. Located across the bottom of the unit between the two main rotary controls, the touch panel employs Field Effect ASIC (with inner and outer electrodes), using a digital input signal that is triggered by finger contact to operate the audio system.
The panel can be manufactured in a variety of materials and with a ‘contour design’, allowing car designers much greater freedom to create fresh and dynamic design solutions for enhanced cabin architecture and ambience.
Click on the below video to see a demonstration of how the UVO system works.
Haptic Steering Wheel Switch
Reactive “Haptic” steering wheel switch enhances road safety
Kia Motors is displaying a touch-sensitive and reactive “Haptic” control module for vehicle steering wheels at CES. Linked to a new LCD display within the instrument cluster, the technology helps users to fully exploit the potential of modern in-car entertainment systems – such as those featured in Kia Motors’ new UVO system – without the need for multiple buttons to be fitted to the car’s steering wheel.
Positioned for easy operation by the driver’s thumb, the active Haptic switch features seven modes of reactive vibration to help the driver navigate the system’s menus using touch alone. The switch can be employed to remotely operate the car’s systems, such as the HVAC, as well as the audio and communications systems.
Although visual information is presented via LCD graphics, Kia Motors expects users to quickly learn to monitor the car’s systems through touch alone – enabling them to keep their eyes on the road.
Full Telematics service facilitates better connectivity
Kia Motors Corporation is showcasing an all-new full Telematics service at CES, which operates through the car’s built-in audio system via hands-free Bluetooth®. Telematics technology is expected to be increasingly important to new car buyers in the future, allowing a rapid transfer of key information to vehicle occupants to safely enhance their enjoyment of their cars.
The high-speed Telematics service features a 40 bytes-per-second data transfer speed and is compatible with GSM, CDMA and 3G mobile phones. The service is primarily designed to deliver driving information about traffic flow and congestion, current and imminent weather conditions, vehicle diagnostics and emergency service alerts.
The system will also enable the driver and passengers to enjoy multimedia navigation.
First opportunity to watch live digital TV in an automobile
Mobile digital television can now be streamed live into cars through a new system from Kia Motors. While North American satellite radio and limited paid-for video broadcasts have been available in-car since 2008, Kia Motors’ new technology enables live digital television channels to be watched on in-car entertainment systems for the first time.
UVO will ensure occupants are fully entertained and also kept abreast of breaking news, and will help to keep rear-seat passengers occupied, reducing driver distraction.
Uninterrupted reception, at speeds up to 180 mph, produces dual band television transmission with a clear, high-quality picture to entertain and inform rear-seat occupants.
All that Kia vehicle users will require to view the in-car live television screening is a rear-seat entertainment system, featuring a display panel of seven inches or more.
‘Widget’ framework creates an in-car wireless communications hub
Through the car’s idle mobile phone screen, Kia users will have access to the new application ‘widgets’ system and downloadable services, enabling at-a-glance automotive wireless communications. The main benefit of the widget system is that it affords users easier access to key services by removing some of the usual steps required.
These widget applications can include RSS news and financial feeds, traffic and weather reports and updates from networking SNS applications such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. The intelligent widget system can also check the car for faults, monitor fuel economy, as well as provide navigation services that can direct you to the nearest gasoline station.
Touch screen technology allows the user to navigate through the widget framework easily, until the system detects the car is running and it switches into driver mode, at which point it is controlled through buttons on the vehicle’s steering wheel.
Two world’s first technologies deliver better communications for Kia drivers
Connecting people to external information sources when travelling by car is becoming increasingly important, and with antennas necessary to support the various technologies available, Kia Motors has teamed up with Ace-Antenna to develop two all-new, cost-effective, multi-use antennas.
• Unity External Shark Fin Antenna
The world’s first nine-band, shark-fin External Integration Active Antenna system reads both CDMA and GPS (voice and data communications) signals, and incorporates the vehicle’s conventional radio aerial.
• Unity Internal Room Mirror Antenna
Another world first, born of the same collaborative program, is the six-band rear-view mirror-mounted Internal Integration Active Antenna system for other Telematics services. This new antenna, for telematics and ITS reception, is located within the mirror housing for optimum product performance and ease of installation.
The new rear view mirror system can be applied immediately to any car in the world. An additional benefit of both systems is that, as the antennas are able to receive a number of different signals, the user is able to use their phone across international borders.