1. Computing

Internet Radio in Cars: Avoiding Square Pegs into Round Holes

Livio Connect Helps Apps and Hardware Communicate

By

Jake Sigal, Livio Radio CEO

Jake Sigal, Livio Radio CEO

Photo: Livio Radio
Imagine a world where your smartphone and your car radio communicated perfectly with each other. A world where apps on devices and the hardware in your car or home operated easily because each one used a universal language or protocol. Well, it's here and it's called "Livio Connect."

"Think of Livio Connect as a liaison between your customers’ various apps and hardware devices. It’s a protocol that enables users to control today’s apps with their voice or fingers through the physical buttons on hardware equipment — including enabled car stereos, televisions, and home audio systems," says livioconnect.com.

Square Pegs, Round Holes

For a long time now, consumers have been trying to get the Internet Radio on their smartphone to play through their traditional car radios. Even though companies have come up with solutions to bridge these two technologies, there's been a lot of pushing of square pegs into round holes.

The auto industry is also aware that vehicles need to be designed with components that solve this problem. As Livio points out: "Automakers are all individually creating their own systems, working towards meeting consumer expectations…but the lack of a standard is making the process chaotic…"

In response to this problem companies like Livio are throwing in with the GENIVI Alliance, a non-profit industry group which pushes adoption of an In-Vehicle Infotainment (IVI) open-source development platform.

Meet Jake Sigal

The man behind Livio Connect is Jake Sigal, the CEO and founder. Sigal's roots are in product development and transitioned from deejay equipment to satellite radios before striking out on his own. I recently spoke with him.

Corey: Who is Livio and what is the firm trying to accomplish?

Jake: We are a software and hardware company and we are in the business of getting stuff on your smartphone - your iPhone and your Android - into the dashboard of your car. So, if you want to listen to your different music stations, your MP3 collection, or any of your navigation apps while you're driving around into your car - that's what we do."

Corey: What is Livio doing to make this delivery of data easiest for the consumer?

Jake: We work directly with the car companies and directly with the companies that put apps on your phone to help them talk with each other. It's very complicated to have a lot of car companies working independently with a number of app companies around the world so we offer a standard called Livio Connect that allows the app company to talk to any car company's car.

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