So, how exactly does it work? We mean, really work.
That’s the reaction lots of people have when they read about a new product in a magazine or on-line. (Other reactions include "looks cool", "what a bunch of hype", and "Wow. Hot model.")
So it was great news when Autoblogger Chris found XM Radio in his wanderings at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada, and got the lowdown on the satellite radio company’s Advance Services Concept (see here for Autoblog’s post on this service).
So how does it really work? Take it away, Chris (pictures and text after the jump)
“Amidst the din of shock jocks Opie & Anthony (pictured above), XM Satellite Radio introduced its Advanced Services Concept, housed in this Lexus LX 470. It features the following "XmXtras":
Combines traditional XM Satellite radio with GPS, real-time traffic, sports, weather, stocks, satellite video and parking.
"Using much of XM's existing architecture, the provider has figured out a way to jam eight channels worth of live audio/video feeds into the mix. That means eight TV channels without a cumbersome large roof-resident dish as with the huge RaySat setup (albeit far fewer channels). Also has on-demand programming.
Working with parking data supplier NuMetrics, XM's real-time data as to what spots are available where on your GPS map.
"Basically, it can tell you there are twenty spots available at CostCo before you arrive, and give you the phone number and address to the place as well.
Advanced voice recognition program (XM partnered with a company called VoiceBox) allows users to speak in 'natural' phrases by cherry-picking key words.
"One can say "What's the weather in Cleveland like today?" and have it read the answer to you. It also stays on-topic.... one can then say "and in Baton Rouge?" without repeating the rest of the phrasing. Also works for sports scores ("How'd the Mets do last night?", stock quotes, etc.) Also works with XM radio: "I'd like to listen to Fred" or "What White Stripes album is this song from?"
Weather ties in with GPS to let you know when you're about to hit bad weather
"It can tell you in advance whether your road is headed for a thunderstorm or icy conditions. Uses technology derived from XM WX Satellite Weather, their aviator meteorology system used in 80% of new private aircraft.
The voice recognition has just been embedded (last week), so it isn't software driven anymore, an important step in getting closer to production. XM Product Marketing Analyst Sven Finnis (seen in the pic giving me a demonstration) says that this system could be seen on production vehicles within a year (he didn't say which ones, but mfgs like Acura already use advanced XM products like their trafffic service).”