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Samsung Spends $8 Bil to Buy Mobile Tech Giant Harman

Move could position Korean company as major player in auto electronics.

by on Nov.14, 2016

Samsung is already the world's biggest maker of computer chips, but lags in auto business.

Samsung Electronics will purchase Harman International, one of the world’s largest producers of in-vehicle electronics, for $8 billion.

The move could position the Korean technology giant as a leader in the emerging field of connected cars. It also will let it play a critical role in automotive cybersecurity, a subject of increasing concern as hackers begin to target ever more high-tech automobiles.

“We see substantial long-term growth opportunities in the auto technology market as demand for Samsung’s specialized electronic components and solutions continues to grow,” said Samsung Electronics President and Chief Strategy Officer Young Sohn.

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With annual sales of around $7 billion, Harman is perhaps best known as a producer of mid and high-end in-car audio equipment, including the automotive lines of Bang & Olufsen. An estimated 30 million vehicles now are equipped with one of those systems.

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Ford May Use Sync to Monitor Motorists’ Health

System could help diabetics, asthma and allergy sufferers.

by on May.19, 2011

Ford is exploring ways for its Sync infotainment system to provide health information, even monitor chronic disease sufferers.

Ford Motor Co. is looking at ways to expand the services available through SYNC, its in-car information and communications system, possibly using the onboard technology to deliver up-to-date medical information to the driver or passengers – even monitoring the health of allergy or chronic disease sufferers.

“This is still a research project,” said Gary Strumolo, the maker’smanager of design and infotronics.  But he said Ford believes a production version of the system could be ready within 12 to 24 months.

Uncovering Hidden Gems!

Strumolo said Ford is using the wireless Bluetooth connectivity of SYNC to link a car to medical providers like Medtronics. The first application could monitor blood glucose level for diabetics and provide them their vital statistics without having to take their hands off the wheel or eyes off the road.

“If you’re a diabetic, certainly you want to have a continuous knowledge of your condition, but it’s particularly critical if you’re driving, because that can affect your ability to drive, and not only endangers you, but others on the road,” he said

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Platforms and Partnerships Mark Detroit Telematics Conference

Safety and infotainment systems becoming "must haves" for connected car buyers - and revenue-hungry suppliers.

by on Jun.05, 2009

Ford's Sync system has become one of the more popular - and most flexible entries into the expanding world of Telematics.

Ford's Sync system has become one of the more popular - and most flexible entries into the expanding world of Telematics.

Telematics – wireless communication to and from vehicles – has reached critical mass, or so seemed the consensus among attendees at this week’s Telematics Detroit 2009 in Novi, Michigan. Telematics – wireless communication to and from vehicles – has reached critical mass, or so seemed the consensus among attendees at this week’s Telematics Detroit 2009 in Novi, Michigan.

“Every major automaker is planning to deploy the technology,” according to Phil Magney, vice president of iSuppli Corporation and head of the firm’s automotive practice. “Are telematics services necessary to sell cars? The consensus, increasingly, is ‘yes,’” he said.

That’s because car buyers, especially younger ones, expect to enjoy much the same “connectivity” in their vehicles as they have in their homes and other gathering places. Cars have to accommodate iPods and other MP3 players, smartphones, and whatever other hot new devices the consumer electronics industry can dream up over the course of a vehicle’s lifecycle.

Trouble lies in the mismatch between the short product development cycles common to consumer electronics and the much longer timeframes required for cars. Designing for an unpredictable future is a complex problem, but automotive system suppliers are responding with so-called open development platforms that they promise will be future proof. The platforms are similar if not identical to those now being used by third party vendors developing smartphone applications. Automakers know they need to capitalize on that same kind of creativity, though they have to be much more careful in doing so. (more…)