The concept video above shows off the Mercedes-Benz’ vision for the “future of multimedia online systems” using smartphones as a media hub, most of which seems to resemble the description of their newly announced “iPhone Interface Plus” concept.
Mercedes is showing off some pretty impressive iPhone integration at this year’s IAA Motor Show in Frankfurt. In what we assume is a major evolution of their Media Interface Plus accessory unveiled last year, the company is set to introduce an “iPhone Interface Plus” concept, available as a retrofit on every Mercedes Benz starting summer 2012.
Working together with a free app from the App Store, an iPhone will be concealed in the “glove compartment and fully integrated into the vehicle electronics”. You can then use hardware controls and the a larger display on the vehicle’s dashboard to control and view content with as little distraction as possible while driving.
The press release explains:
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“…the iPhone® screen can be seen on the display screen of the audio system, the audio signals are played through the car’s loudspeakers and the smartphone itself can be controlled through the car’s rotary pushbutton – a perfect example of successful integration. And of course all the time the iPhone® is connected to the control unit, it will automatically be recharging.”
The Mercedes-Benz app is designed specifically for in-car use, allowing for easy one-click interaction with social networks, email, and GPS services, as well as text-to-speech capabilities for email, Twitter, and Facebook. The press release also mentions “holistic integration” with the ability to do things such as “Like currently playing media” and “Share your current destination via Facebook and Twitter”. Another interesting feature is the “Car Finder”, which as the name implies guides you backed to your parked vehicle.
Mercedes also announced a new “crash-proof holder” for iPad, which attaches the device to headrests for rear passenger viewing. From the press release:
“The iPad Integration Plus system for rear seat passengers can be tilted, or turned through 90°. This convenient docking station is an ergonomic solution that makes it possible to use the Apple iPad®, with all its familiar functions, in your Mercedes-Benz. All connection points are easily accessible. The battery can also be recharged, using a separate Apple data cable that links into the vehicle’s on-board electricity supply via an integrated USB interface.”