Ford cars have been known to boast its Ford Sync technology that pairs smartphones with its vehicles, and now it looks like Toyota will be adding a similar feature to their cars in the future with the Touch Life infotainment system, that will mirror the phone’s display with a 7” touch screen.
The touch screen is said to display various information for the driver, such as access to navigational maps, music and even social networking services (although this sounds a bit dangerous to be doing while on the road). This is achieved through MirrorLink, which is a standard established by the Car Connectivity Consortium, and at the moment both Nokia devices and iPhones will be compatible with the Touch Life system.
Nokia phones will need to be updated to Symbian Belle, while iPhone owners will be required to download the free “Application Launcher” app from the iTunes App Store to connect their device to the Touch Life system. We’re guessing that support for Android is definitely a feature we can look forward to in the future. Check out the press release below for a full list of supported phones, apps and compatible car models.
Toyota Touch Life – world-first smartphone mirroring infotainment product
Toyota introduces the latest addition to the Toyota Touch infotainment product family with the all-new Toyota Touch Life. Offering consumers with unprecedented smartphone-vehicle connectivity, Toyota Touch Life will be available for the Toyota iQ city car towards the end of 2011 in selected markets. Toyota Touch Life uses the latest industry connectivity protocols to mirror the smartphone’s display on the infotainment system’s 7-inch touchscreen. Smartphone functionalities can now be easily accessed using steering wheel-based controls or the large touchscreen surface.
Nokia smartphone owners can seamlessly connect their devices with Toyota Touch Life using the new industry standard connectivity protocol, MirrorLink™, developed by the Car Connectivity Consortium. This represents an automotive industry world-first deployment of the protocol.
In addition, Nokia smartphone users can also make use of the specially developed Nokia Car Mode app which simplifies the user interface to give direct access to the device’s telephony, voice guided, turn-by-turn navigation, and music player functions. This easy-to-use GUI (graphical user interface) ensures that drivers can access only the most essential and non-distracting functions on the smartphone while the car is on the move. The Nokia “Car Mode” app, with MirrorLink™ support, can be downloaded from the Nokia Store for devices equipped with the Symbian Belle (1) operating system. When the car is stationery, Toyota Touch Life allows drivers and passengers to access the complete functionalities of their Nokia smartphones through the in-car touchscreen display. The display supports not only point-and-touch standard touchscreen capabilities but also on-screen scrolling or swiping gestures.
Apple iPhone users (running iOS 4 or later) can download the free “Application Launcher” app from the App Store to connect their devices with Toyota Touch Life. The “Application Launcher” app offers drivers and passengers access to various apps on the in-car display including the Garmin StreetPilot® (2) app (available for purchase from the App Store), internet radio and news apps such as AUPEO! (3) and Stitcher (3), and social networking services such as Facebook and Twitter (4) using the built-in application interface.
Complete audiovisual connectivity to the Apple iPod also comes as standard on Toyota Touch Life, giving users complete access to their music and video collection using either steering wheel-based controls or buttons located on the infotainment system.
Smartphone-vehicle connectivity with the Toyota Touch Life will continue to expand as more mobile communications and consumer electronics companies continue to implement the MirrorLink™ industry standard.
Toyota Touch Life is the latest addition to the Toyota Touch family of infotainment products aiming to offer a new level of in-car connectivity and multimedia experience to a wider range of consumers. The Toyota Touch & Go was recently introduced for the Toyota Verso-S, Yaris and Hilux models. The Toyota Touch infotainment experience will be soon expanded with the Toyota Touch & Go Plus, making its debut for the Toyota Avensis, Prius and Verso, as well as the Toyota Touch Pro for the Toyota Prius.
(1) Nokia Car Mode app with MirrorLink™ support will be available for download on Nokia 701, Nokia 700, Nokia 603, Nokia 600, expanding to include Nokia N8, Nokia E7, Nokia C7, Nokia X7 and Nokia C6-01 models at a later date. Support for Nokia N9 is also planned.
(2) Two versions of the Garmin StreePilot® navigation app are currently supported, including maps for Western Europe and the United Kingdom and Ireland.
(3) AUPEO! and Stitcher apps are subject to regional availability in the Apple App Store.
(4) Application Launcher uses the Twitter API (application programming interface) to access Twitter.