Wow. That statement alone really sums up where we are heading. I suppose even we almost baby boomers must acquiesce to the fact that access to cell phone, and even Internet, while in the car is fast becoming a must. I can't tell you how often one of my kids plays personal secretary to me, writing/responding to texts, emails, etc. while I'm carting them to and from places. Even on these short jaunts, I increasingly feel the need to be connected so anything that might make that easier and less dangerous would be a welcome advantage.
I think you are right, Beth. The technology we are talking about has become cultural - it is a part of our world view on how we communicate with each other. I just hope we never dispense with the OFF button. Sometimes I feel like it is enslaving more than liberating. We never leave work anymore - even when we physically leave. It used to be there was a line of demarcation between personal and private time but that line has become blurred due to technology, sometimes to our loss...
My goodness, Verizon just positioned itself with a monopoly on in-car phone service. That's a pretty clever move. I would guess users would have to pay a monthly fee to Verizon and they would be locked in with that vendor.
Yes, Rob, a clever move. Some in the industry also believe that Verizon did it because they no longer want to support the 2G and 2.5G services that are used in some of the hard-wired in-car phone services.
My bet is it might parallel what happens with satelitte radio. You buy a certain class of vehicle and you get satelitte radio for a year and then afterwards have to buck up for a subscription if they want to keep it. Perhaps Verizon would do the same thing although given our love affair with the cell phone, my guess is people would be prepared to pay right away to get the service.
Beth, we are a connected people, aren't we. I find that a lot of things are delivered with a CD or DVD which contains almost nothing. It is mostly links to a web site with the latest information. This makes sense, but only if you have ubiquitous communications. The cell phone network is the closest we have to that. Many people have 4G modules they attach to their PCs. Some even come with that. Why not cars?
This should be really interesting now that they did away with the unlimited data plan. They Pushed 4G as the greatest thing since sliced bread, and it is fast, but much like any good drug dealer, get your addicts hooked, then jack up the prices... the junkies will pay.
I think this time they may have overreached, just like their idiotic billing policy they pulled back on when the public told them to shove it.
All the car companies would like to tie us into the lucrative smart phone "service" market. But how many car companies have the resources to create their own "service"? One, GM, with OnStar.
My car has blue tooth and USB. Just like on-star, it can call 911 in case of an accident. It could easily get smart phone connectivity with either of those two interfaces if they just updated the on-board SW. That probably won't happen, since then I wouldn't be locked into a server of the car companies choosing (and they have a relationship with a satalite provider for that now, which I'm not paying for).
The last thing a car company should be doing is tying a snapshot of technology into a car with a potential 20 year lifespan. My wife's 18 year old car still has an analog "built in" phone. You know what it's useful for? Nada.
What the car companies should be doing is coming up with a tablet cradle dock standard on the middle dash (power + USB/bluetooth with a standard data format, kind of like OBD). Want 4G? Get a 4G tablet. Touch screen breaks? Get a new $200 tablet instead of paying $3000 for a replacement "built in" from the dealer. Technology marches on? (I hear that it does, sometimes;) Buy a new tablet. Better screen? No problem. Want to create your own engine performance dials? Write an Android app. Want to continue something after your car ride is over? Take it with you (I do this now with my Android cell phone and my music).
Most machine design engineers will survey existing component manufacturers for standard linear guide products, limiting what they can do with their designs. Using extruded aluminum profile guides can customize machine designs while shrinking the bill of materials.
Practically all electronic devices today contain metals that may
be coming from conflict-ravaged African countries. And political pressures will increasingly influence how these minerals are sourced and used in products.
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