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October 12, 2010

Integrated internet access coming soon to vehicles

Parrot offers connectivity via Wi-Fi/3G+ Gateway

One of the main challenges facing the automotive world is to obtain continuous and affordable high-quality, high-speed data connection from the carriers. Although easy universal access to the internet from cars may still be far from coming to the general public, Parrot is taking major steps in that direction.

For years, car manufacturers have sought to make ongoing connectivity in automobiles a reality. With multiple companies vying to champion this development, Parrot has distinguished itself through its recent solution offering connectivity via its Wi-Fi/3G+ Gateway.

There are various preliminary vehicle solutions available on the market today, such as Ford's integrated Sync solution and Audi's connectivity based on Google technology. Parrot's next generation FC6100 module offers higher integration levels at lower costs. Parrot's success in the rapid combination of new connectivity with Bluetooth, USB devices, iPod, iPhone, Wi-Fi, and state-of-the-art audio expertise, has been extended to include internet connection through 3G+.

The Wi-Fi/3G+ Gateway enables the module to access the internet in 3G and redistribute it to the car's occupants in Wi-Fi. This allows them to connect their various devices to the internet through the gateway, facilitating usage by multiple passengers in a single vehicle, through connectivity for laptops, phones, tablets, and various other types of devices.

The FC6100 module assimilates the entirety of Parrot's software libraries into the Android framework, combining the best of Parrot connectivity with the most popular features offered by Android Market Apps. These include hands-free telephony, speaker independent voice recognition, media management and acoustics, as well as mapping and POI services, yellow pages, speed camera databases, and navigation.

"Android is a Linux-based operating system, increasingly widespread in the Smartphone world and currently making its way into the car market," says   Eric Riyahi, Global OEM Director at Parrot. "As an open-source platform, it is heavily supported by a strong community developing an ever-increasing wealth of applications."

The FC6100's interface reaches widespread standards, such as I2S, USB, WiFi, Bluetooth, UART, among others. This far-reaching accessibility makes for very simple integration in the car environment. The module also incorporates Bluetooth 3.0 communication in its chip, offering an increased data transfer speed. This allows for the simultaneous combination of several BT uses. Examples of this multiplicity can be seen in the following scenarios: accessing online services on the car's display via the phone, while placing a call; or placing a hands-free call while back passengers stream music from the driver's phone to their wireless headsets.

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