Instead of stringing cables about the cabin to connect with cell phones, MP3 players, and navigation systems, the gateway utilizes Bluetooth, USB, and a standard audio input jack to allow smooth integration with existing vehicle infotainment systems. Details on exactly how this will be accomplished in a way that accommodates future devices is lacking, but JCI engineers assured us that the system will remain viable for the vehicle's lifespan. We got an opportunity to try out the system for a few minutes and can report that itis rather easy to use; it should definitely find favor among novices and geeks alike.
The system is said to be fully developed and ready for production, but with no OEMs yet signed on to use it, don't expect to see the Mobile Device Gateway in the showroom for another couple of years.
The official press release can be found after the jump, and you can see more pictures by viewing our high-resolution gallery.
Check out all the debuts and galleries from the Detroit Auto Show here.
Johnson Controls Unveils Innovative, Original-Equipment Solution
for Connecting, Using Portable Electronic Devices in Vehicles
Company's Mobile Device Gateway offers connectivity –
through Bluetooth and USB with intuitive user interfaces
DETROIT, MICHIGAN, U.S.A. (January 7, 2007) – In recent years, consumers
increasingly have sought to use portable electronic devices in the vehicle, including MP3
music players, Bluetooth-enabled cell phones, personal navigation systems – other
products. People want to use such products in their vehicles as "plug-and-play" devices
that can be integrated seamlessly for easy, safe and convenient operation. Responding
to these trends, designers and engineers at Johnson Controls (NYSE: JCI) have created
a flexible electrical architecture solution that targets automotive original-equipment
applications – the Mobile Device Gateway.
The system enables drivers and passengers to use Bluetooth-enabled cell
phones as hands-free devices linked to a vehicle's audio system; access and play music
– from MP3 devices; utilize personal navigation devices; control onboard audio and
multimedia systems; handle climate-control settings; and more.
This state-of-the-art system was developed leveraging Johnson Controls'
experience and leadership in the production of Bluetooth hands-free phone systems.
The Mobile Device Gateway builds on the capabilities of traditional hands-free systems,
and is fully compatible with a wide range of consumer electronic devices and
communication/architecture protocols. It allows additional consumer electronics devices
to connect to the vehicle's electrical system through Bluetooth technology, USB and
serial-connection ports. As a result, portable devices can be integrated and managed as
if they were factory-installed systems.
The Mobile Device Gateway from Johnson Controls offers significant benefits.
Enabling these devices for use in the vehicle reduces the risk of obsolescence.
Embedded electronics often face the risk of becoming obsolete because the planning
cycle times and lifecycles of vehicles are different than those for the consumer
electronics market. In addition, Johnson Controls can apply its expertise in human
machine interface solutions. This enables the company to develop the system to
intelligently manage the features and functions of the devices to ensure a safe and
enjoyable driving experience.
"Today's consumers are highly mobile, connected and tuned in to innovation, and
they're attracted to products that support these dynamics, from consumer electronics to
modern cars and trucks," said Jim Geschke, vice president and general manager of
electronics, North America for Johnson Controls. "It's vitally important for automakers to
deliver easy-to-use gateways that provide flexible and reliable connectivity for the
consumer electronic products of today and tomorrow."
According to Geschke, Mobile Device Gateway technology from Johnson
Controls is the next generation of the company's BlueConnect® Bluetooth wireless
system for automakers, which have been used mainly to support hands-free operation of
Bluetooth-enabled cell phones in vehicles.
"Our connectivity solutions reflect our longstanding expertise in telematics,
speech recognition, human-machine-interface solutions, and vehicle-interior integration,"
Geschke said. "Enabling portable devices to be connected seamlessly in vehicles offers
advantages compared to the traditional approach of embedding electronics. Consumers
have access to the latest technologies at home and in their cars, and automakers avoid
equipping their vehicles with systems that could become obsolete in two years or even
Officials from Johnson Controls are showcasing the next-generation Mobile
Device Gateway technology at this year's North American International Auto Show at
Cobo Center in Detroit. It is among the product and technology innovations being
displayed by the company at its exhibit in room D2-15 at Cobo Center. The show opens
to the news media on January 7, 2007.
Johnson Controls is a global leader in automotive experience, building efficiency
and power solutions. The company provides innovative automotive interiors that help
make driving more comfortable, safe and enjoyable. For buildings, it offers products and
services that optimize energy use and improve comfort and security. Johnson Controls
also provides batteries for automobiles and hybrid electric vehicles, along with systems
engineering and service expertise. Johnson Controls (NYSE:JCI), founded in 1885, is
headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. For additional information, please visit