In 2007, the iPhone, the following year the Android OS was introduced as a more open OS anyone can use. With the introduction of these products, smartphones have quickly become an integral part of our life. In the US, there is data showing that people spend over half of their free time looking at their smartphones. Worldwide, it is predicted that 80% of the population will own a smartphone in the next few years. In Japan, moves such as removing SIM locks are predicted to increase adoption rates even further.
Currently, there are also many people that use their smartphones as a replacement for navigation in their car. Using a navigation app, users are able to access the wealth of data and processing power through cloud technology, at a very affordable price.
With the ability to maintain a signal even in a moving car, there has been a move to use the data collected by the smartphone inside the car. Combined with the use of an app, it opens a wealth of possibilities. For example, the user can search for information about the surrounding area of their destination on their phone, and send the location of a nearby restaurant to the navigation device inside of the car. In addition, it is possible to send an address from your contacts on your phone, play music stored on your phone in your car, or post that information on a social network. There is even a technical progress for using a smart watch to control various aspects of your car.
Thanks to these advancements in cloud and network infrastructure, even when you are not sure whether you've rolled up the windows on your car, or can't remember where you parked, you can use your smartphone to check whether your car is locked or have your car flash its lights to help you find it. With an EV, if you set the time you're going to leave the house and your destination, it's possible to tell if your car will be charged by the time you leave. In addition, it's possible to have the car turn on its air conditioning by the time you leave.
In more playful applications, there is an app that uses the car's acceleration and G forces experienced while driving, and turns it into a song. This application has been gaining popularity with its ability to upload the songs you've created to the cloud. Some navigation apps are also able to show routes not only for cars, but also for trains, bicycles, taxis and ride-sharing, and is also able to show how much time it will take and how much CO2 will be emitted.
With smart phones connecting to the internet, cars and people are connecting with big data. With it, a more comfortable and joyful life with cars may be realized, with cars connecting with people and the city to provide information leading to avoiding traffic congestion and the latest entertainment news for instance. Moreover, with the relationship of cars and smartphones evolving and its utilization becoming wide-spread, smartphones might become pivotal information portals that can move in high speeds and cars may become a new and essential information infrastructure in the case of a disaster.
At SMC2015, the "Station Core" will exhibit new applications and technology of smartphones in the field of multimodal interface, car sharing and so forth. Also the "ICT&E (Energy/Entertainment) Lab" will showcase connected cars and various associated services in sync with big data and cloud computing.