While the focus on LA has lately been upon the nexus of Online Video, Movies and Television, E-Commerce and Social Media firms, and the Silicon Beach startup scene…a funny thing happened on the way to the LA Auto Show: It is in the Autos industry that all of these converged, as unexpectedly as that might seem to some.
When you think about it, LA had to be the place for this milieu to solidify and present itself to the world. The ONLY place. SoCal has long been known for its car culture. And movie culture. And now all the others, too. So the fact that they have arrived together, in one place and product, is breathtaking to behold. This year’s cars on display, are truly something.
What am I talking about? Well, between the screen you could only see with the ‘Special Sunglasses’ at the VW press conference, to the Dynamic videoscreen facade taking up the entire side of a concept car by Hyundai, to the Velocity system offering from Sprint, it truly was ‘Cars Meet Content’ in a very real sense.
And there was more: the ‘Invisible Cloak’ from Toyota/Lexus, that will basically superimpose video imaging which “replaces” the backseat for full rear-area viewing, is clearly a breakthrough technology. The GhostGlass module on display from Scion, also hints at very cool things coming.
With the very divergent technologies and industries, that have made LA great, cars are now moving from merely being transportation facilitators, to becoming fully-contained, Personal Movement Pods, where you can move/drive, shop, talk, text, watch content, sleep, carry a surfboard or bike, and more. Much, much more.
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In the end, even the Press events themselves had taken on a new kind of “Content”; from the rock band during Hyundai’s event, to the USC Marching Band at Mitsubishi, to the Sunglass-only screening at VW, all of a sudden, cars have a story to be told in a whole new way.
And as for the Wheels Meeting Waves, well, do I even need to explain that part? Didn’t think so!
[Note: While I have not done a side-by-side comparison, it certainly appeared that Velocity had gone beyond Ford’s Sync system in both functionality and usability, thus making sense for it to be white-labeled by many of the OEM’s still out there needing a solution.]