CES: ng Connect members demo new LTE Connected-car features

The ng Connect foundation, formed by Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE:ALU) and made up of 30 companies, is using the Consumer Electronics Show to demo – among other services – its LTE Connected Car, pushing the limits of what ultra high-speed mobile networks can do on the road. Since November, the organization has added new features to the car, a 2010 Toyota Prius hybrid-electric, including capacity for video on-demand, games, an audio library, detailed traffic and weather information, remote diagnostics and maintenance.

ng Connect members Intamac Systems and QNX Software Systems teamed up with Alcatel-Lucent to develop the LTE Connected Car’s latest capability – mobile home management from the vehicle. Intamac, which also offers broadband-enabled energy management via telecom service providers, has enabled the car to communicate with the company’s home management and security systems. Through menu-driven, touch-screen communication, the car’s passengers can adjust the temperature or control lights in their home. They can also view a live feed of their home from the security camera while on the road, as well as make sure all their doors are locked. Essentially anything a user can already do from their mobile phone or PC, Intamac can enable within the car.

Alcatel-Lucent launched the ng Connect program at last year’s Mobile World Congress and has spent the past year expanding the dialogue around connectivity and the user experience. Derek Kuhn, vice president of emerging media and technology for Alcatel-Lucent, said that more than 100 companies are looking to join, but the organization has had to be picky, prioritizing consumer media and entertainment, ehealth and learning, cloud computing, in-car experiences and public safety.

“We wanted to go out of the box without operators involved,” Kuhn said, adding that there has also been a huge amount of interest from operators to join or meet with members of the global organization. “The key for us is showing what’s possible and admitting to everyone pretty openly there are elements of what we are showing that are ridiculous. There are elements the network won’t support in the beginning, maybe eventually, but not – for example – four streaming channels into the car with LTE at first. If that kind of thing though that we want to build dialogue around.”

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