Fast Cars, MIDs, the iPhone and the VW GTI
The idea of integrating my portable connected communication device into my life is very appealing. I have been able to accomplish that in many ways with my iPhone. I hope that as MIDs evolve we can integrate them even further; I will use my car as an example.
I have a 2008 VW GTI (2.0T). One of the factory installed features is an iPod adapter. It gives you the ability to plug an iPod into a base unit in the center console and then control your iPod using the radio interface on the dash. When the iPod is plugged in, you access it as if it were a CD player. You press the CD button once to play CD's in the 6-disc CD player, and a second time to access the songs on the iPod. You one button access your first 5 play lists using the first 5 CD buttons. The 6th CD is an alphabetical playlist of every song on your iPod.
If you have steering wheel controls they can also be used to control your iPod. When you have the driver information system set to audio, the iPod information is also displayed in the center screen between the tachometer and the speedometer (in addition to always showing on the radio screen).
When using the iPhone in the system it works essentially the same. You control the iPhone just as if it were an iPod, the UI is the same. The iPhone also charges as it is plugged in. This is nice because it means I don't have to keep an iPhone charger in my car now. As far as calls go, IF you have the ringer on, and you get a call while you are listening to the iPhone, the ring will come over the car audio system. This is nice because then you can simply reach over pull up the phone and take the call.
This system is a really great start and shows how we can accomplish some cool integration with our portable devices. I’ll enjoy seeing how MIDs evolve to support great usages such as this. The USB connectors allow this level of integration and more. Should the MID be in a console as VW does, or visible on your dash? These are the fun issues that future usage models will determine.