View Poll Results: Did you buy shares ?

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  • Yes, I'm acting now !

    694 62.52%
  • No

    416 37.48%
  1. BigBadWulf's Avatar
    Ken's passion and humor were a gift to CrackBerry and all his friends. So sad he has left us.
    La Emperor, Corbu, rarsen and 9 others like this.
    01-25-17 11:07 PM
  2. KuroKei's Avatar
    Very sad to hear this...
    01-25-17 11:48 PM
  3. BanffMoose's Avatar
    Rest in peace Bunga. You will be missed. I wish I knew you personally.

    Posted via CB10
    01-25-17 11:55 PM
  4. bbjdog's Avatar
    Thanks for the laughter Ken! Rest in peace.
    Corbu, La Emperor, rarsen and 6 others like this.
    01-26-17 04:49 AM
  5. rarsen's Avatar
    01-26-17 03:50 PM
  6. Corbu's Avatar
    Rumored specs for the BB Merah Putih built BlackBerry-branded device appear | CrackBerry.com

    Roland Quandt @rquandt

    BlackBerry "BBC100-1": Snapdragon 425 1,4 GHz, 5.5in, 720p HD, 4/32GB, 13/8MP, Dual-SIM, 3000mAh.
    01-26-17 04:12 PM
  7. Andy_bb_king's Avatar
    Really appreciate it, Morgan!

    Posted via CB10
    morganplus8 likes this.
    01-26-17 04:55 PM
  8. Corbu's Avatar
    BlackBerry’s John Chen: Beating Jobs by Doing the Impossible in Three Years
    By Rob Enderle

    Right now, BlackBerry CEO John Chen is not only ahead of Steve Jobs in terms of turnaround speed, he has done something that both HP and Sun failed at: turned a hardware company into a software and services company, arguably something Jobs couldn’t have done. I had a chance to ask him about that this week and I’ll close with his fascinating response, but first I want to document how he was able to do what so many have failed at: Successfully doing a turnaround.

    Given how many jobs and companies are lost in these efforts, let’s look at the key elements I think were evident in Chen’s effort and what he felt was the most important part.

    Team Loyalty

    One of the first things I look for when an external CEO is hired is how well he or she creates and maintains personal loyalty. One of the big indicators is whether the CEO brings a critical mass of known executives into the firm. Initially, loyalty is more important than skill set because if you trust your team and they trust you, there is less likelihood they will misrepresent the problems they have. Many of the early turnaround failures I’ve observed were due to people covering up problems until they became so pronounced that they could neither be covered up nor corrected. That is what I think happened at Yahoo with the mega breaches; there was a decision in the company to cover the breaches up because the executives didn’t trust their CEO to not overreact when it happened. We’ll see if this week’s litigation there proves me out.

    At the BlackBerry briefing, there were a significant number of executives whom Chen had brought with him into BlackBerry, and while he joked about the fact that they had yet to execute sharply on the strategy for third parties to license BlackBerry’s phone platform, they’ve executed impossibly well on almost everything else.

    Understanding Deeply Origin, Destination and Transition Process

    This is why, I think, both Sun’s and HP’s efforts to transition from hardware to software and services failed. Both of the CEOs who were hired to make the move didn’t understand enough about the hardware business to recognize what was needed to transition it to software and services. With their skillset, they should have simply built a new software and services company from scratch and then shut down the legacy hardware business, but you can’t possible communicate that without going out of business. This is because you have to sustain the legacy business, which generally is failing anyway, long enough to finish the transition, and not prematurely kill the revenue stream.

    Another thing that made Chen unique is that while his prior CEO experience included Sybase, a software company, he also was chief executive at Siemens Nixdorf, a hardware company, prior to that. Having done both gave him the breadth he needed to transition the firm.

    This is why Jobs smartly decided to kill the process at Apple to transition that company to software and services. Jobs didn’t understand how to do that and would have likely failed because he was just a hardware guy.

    John Chen’s Secret Sauce

    Now, when I asked Chen what he thought was the defining factor of why he was successful and others failed, he responded that he made hard decisions quickly. If it was painful but the right thing to do, his view was to get it done and he drove his loyal executives to execute. Deciding to get out of the phone manufacturing business was likely the most difficult, but had the company not removed the burden of that effort, something Palm didn’t do, it would likely be just a dead as Palm is.

    I’ve observed this in successful CEOs overall, from Michael Dell to Steve Jobs. If it needs to get done, they don’t put it off due to difficulty. They drive it through. As another example, this is something clearly obviously being done by U.S. President Donald Trump at the moment, showcasing how painful this path can be, but why it is critical to the success of the effort.

    Wrapping Up: The Set of Key Turnaround Elements

    A corporate turnaround has a lot of moving parts, particularly with a multinational. But Chen, with the fastest turnaround I have ever seen for a company of this scale, has shown that the key elements are team loyalty; understanding how to fully navigate from where the company is to where the company needs to go; and recognizing that for your team to execute sharply, you can’t put off the hard decisions because of politics, your own job risk, or just because they’ll be painful. In short, the successful executive knows where they are, where they are going, how to get there, and how to build an army of dedicated folks who will follow their lead. The elements seem like they should be obvious. The question in my head as I leave you is why is someone like Chen is an exception rather than the rule?

    Oh, one more thing. For a turnaround executive to be successful long term, he or she needs to transition the company into something optimized around their skill set. This, I think, is why Steve Ballmer failed and why Satya Nadella is succeeding at Microsoft. Ballmer tried to run Bill Gates’ company. Nadella has transitioned Microsoft into a cloud-forward firm, better mirroring Nadella’s skillset. In the end, that is what Chen has also done with BlackBerry. To paraphrase Trump, that’s “huuuuge.”
    01-26-17 06:45 PM
  9. _dimi_'s Avatar
    01-27-17 11:59 AM
  10. bbjdog's Avatar
    John Chen and BlackBerry trial.

    rarsen, Corbu, RigoMonster and 1 others like this.
    01-27-17 07:13 PM
  11. _dimi_'s Avatar
    Definitely a hint of investor fatigueness if the level of activity on this board is a good indicator? Or perhaps investors are really failing to see a clear, feasible, path towards decent levels of profitability. Even our highest regarded members (that's primarily you Morgan :-)) are now speaking with a big 'if'.

    Meanwhile, BlackBerry holds an analyst summit with a 95-page powerpoint presentation. This triggers Credit Suisse to maintain a 6 USD price target while Rob Enderle sees Chen outperforming Jobs and the transition to software as completed.

    Last time I checked, institutions kept adding shares of BlackBerry. And only a few days ago, Cisco stepped in and acquired a start-up for over 3 billion USD just one day before its IPO.

    Interesting times.

    Posted via CB10
    rarsen, morganplus8 and Mr BBRY like this.
    01-28-17 05:17 AM
  12. DaSchwantz's Avatar
    Definitely a hint of investor fatigueness if the level of activity on this board is a good indicator? Or perhaps investors are really failing to see a clear, feasible, path towards decent levels of profitability. Even our highest regarded members (that's primarily you Morgan :-)) are now speaking with a big 'if'.

    Meanwhile, BlackBerry holds an analyst summit with a 95-page powerpoint presentation. This triggers Credit Suisse to maintain a 6 USD price target while Rob Enderle sees Chen outperforming Jobs and the transition to software as completed.

    Last time I checked, institutions kept adding shares of BlackBerry. And only a few days ago, Cisco stepped in and acquired a start-up for over 3 billion USD just one day before its IPO.

    Interesting times.

    Posted via CB10
    dimi...I think it's as Chen says...now that all the restructuring has been done, it's really about execution, so not as much to talk about. However, you're correct that there seems to be steady institutional accumulation right now (the end of Dec figures show almost everyone increasing their positions). Our attention needs to turn to QNX and the auto space in particular...per unit phone revenue growth potential (licensing, etc.) is now in the hands of TCL and other partners, but I really want bbry to take advantage of its current dominant position via QNX in the auto space in order to build value add to the core OS so that per vehicle licensing revs can kick up a few notches.
    01-28-17 07:05 AM
  13. Elephant_Canyon's Avatar
    Meanwhile, BlackBerry holds an analyst summit with a 95-page powerpoint presentation. This triggers Credit Suisse to maintain a 6 USD price target while Rob Enderle sees Chen outperforming Jobs and the transition to software as completed.
    If there's a better reason to run away screaming, I don't know what it is.

    Rob Enderle has been predicting doom for Apple for 15 years, and he is nearly always completely wrong.
    01-28-17 07:19 AM
  14. Corbu's Avatar
    The Most Interesting Things from the BlackBerry Analyst Forum

    As I mentioned earlier, I was at the BlackBerry forum earlier this week and outside of the fascinating chat I had with John Chen, the BlackBerry CEO, there were three offerings the firm showcased that I think could have a far bigger impact. The offerings included a HIPAA-compliant medical social network focused on patients and collaboration; a secure communications and collaboration platform for the banking and finance industry; the powerful automotive platform (the QNX product dominates that market); Radar, a logistics tracking product currently targeting semi-trailers; a secure communications and collaboration platform for legal offices; and AtHoc, the recently acquired disaster alerting offering.

    Public Safety Reference Architecture

    The interesting part of this Public Safety Solution is that it is truly comprehensive, linking in physical notification systems (sirens, electronic signage, etc.), to bi-directional automated communication, geofencing and external organizations. The example was given of a major disaster in California where an oil refinery blew up, spreading a toxic cloud over the area. With the prior system, the local subway, BART, was notified and the trains skipped the affected open air depot, which had been closed and locked. However, Cal Train was on a separate system and it dropped its passengers off on this now secured location, locking them into an unsafe environment, effectively a potentially toxic cage.

    Recalling that on 9/11, BlackBerry was one of the few systems that continued to function after the attack, this solution could save massive numbers of lives during a terrorist attack, school shooting or natural disaster.

    Health Care Reference Architecture

    This health care reference architecture was basically a significantly enhanced social network designed around health care providers that was secure and HIPAA compliant. I’ve been looking at health care for a while and one of the recurring issues is that good collaboration between practitioners is more of an exception than a rule. That often results in unneeded procedures (adding significantly to insurance and patent cost), bad diagnoses, and the failure of efforts that otherwise might have been successful. On top of that, when they do share, they may violate the legal rights of the patient because the methods they use can be unsecure and non-compliant.

    This reference architecture, designed with close collaboration with the medical community (a practicing nurse did the presentation, consistent with a best practice that I’ve seen firms like IBM do regularly), loops in asset management, alerting (including alarms), collaboration (including pictures and medical charts), first responders, hospice, physicians, clinical collaboration, site management (operating room scheduling, etc.) and home care.

    There has been a lot of conversation regarding dropping the cost and increasing the effectiveness of health care. Outside of IBM Watson’s AI medical solution (which could be looped into this), this is arguably the most powerful medical tool I’ve ever seen to address both problems.

    Radar

    The first two examples could save thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of lives, so you may wonder why I’d include Radar, which is basically an IoT solution to manage truck trailers, in my list of BlackBerry hits. At the heart of this solution, though, is a physical box with two years of battery life and a host of sensors that monitor semi-truck trailers in exquisite detail. This small sensor pack can tell and report where the trailer is, whether the doors are open or closed, whether the trailer is empty or full, whether the trailer is too hot or too cold and, according to the firm that is deploying it, this one solution will help the company continue to grow at around 10 percent annually, and it will drop their trailer-related costs by 30 percent. So what?

    The “so what” here is that this is basically an IoT comprehensive security solution in a box that doesn’t need power for two years. It could be used as a more generic security device with a different sensor load out to secure permanent or temporary storage, to monitor a large number of physical locations as part of a reporting ecosystem very cheaply, and as the heart of small business or home security systems.

    Now apply it to intelligence gathering on criminal organizations or terrorists. This could be part of an install and forget system that could automatically and cheaply monitor tens of thousands of locations and alert out (with a different sensor set) whether it smelled drugs, explosives or, with a speech-to-text add-on (which could be a hacked Amazon Echo), certain keywords or phrases.

    In short, while the first two things could mitigate the damage of a 9/11-like attack, this potentially (with modification) could, relatively cheaply, massively reduce the chance of it occurring in the first place.

    Wrapping Up: Seeing BlackBerry in a New Light

    I think it is going to take us awhile to see BlackBerry as something other than a smartphone and secure email vendor. However, at the analyst event, it showcased powerful arguments that it had moved on, and perhaps we should as well with regard to how we view the company. In a disaster, these solutions could get us, or our children, the help we need, or even prevent the disaster in the first place. Now, that is a powerful way to end the week.
    bbjdog, rarsen, La Emperor and 3 others like this.
    01-28-17 07:37 AM
  15. morganplus8's Avatar
    Definitely a hint of investor fatigueness if the level of activity on this board is a good indicator? Or perhaps investors are really failing to see a clear, feasible, path towards decent levels of profitability. Even our highest regarded members (that's primarily you Morgan :-)) are now speaking with a big 'if'.

    Posted via CB10
    Hi _dimi_ !!

    Ha! There's no big "if" in my statement, I was simply trying to explain why MBLY is priced with such a P/E multiple and BBRY seems to be held back. As for my position on the stock, I hold a record amount of the stock and plan on buying more. I have two years left in this process and I fully expect to make huge profits on this trade for years to come. I was being honest in saying that BlackBerry needs to be more like an IPO stock and less like a recovery operation now. All the ducks are in a row to see them build the business and as soon as they project "profits" many others will get excited about the trade again. Many of the negative comments about the company are not worth my time reading as I'm focused on different factors than they are. I don't care the Ross Healy thinks the investment is dead money, it's not for me. I don't care if there is a $ 6.00 target on the stock, my target is twice that level over the same time frame.

    I haven't read all the posts on this board, nor do I post much as we had a family member pass recently and that's more important to me. I'm as focused as one can be regarding BBRY but I also see Trump and his actions, we are on the brink of a major stock market rally here as soon as he gets his stuff together. And so I'm not as available to see what is happening to the thread on a daily basis right now, but I'm all in just the same. We have CES 2017 and Q4 next month and I hope we hear some more positive things out of the company going forward now that most of the distractions are behind them.

    I'll take this moment:
    As I posted to the other thread regarding Bungaboy, I feel like it is appropriate to have a period of time to reflect on his passing too, he deserved this and I didn't feel right engaging this thread in BB talk too soon after the news. It was really nice to see that we did pause to remember our fellow CB member in this way and especially nice to hear such great things from our mods as well. Bungaboy was well known for getting "time outs" but it has also become abundantly clear that the mods appreciated his contribution to CB in a big way. It is very much appreciated to read such heart warming comments from them all, as well as every one of you too in this very thread. Peace.
    Corbu, kadakn01, rarsen and 19 others like this.
    01-28-17 01:17 PM
  16. Corbu's Avatar
    Very well said, Morgan. Could not agree more. Thank you.
    01-28-17 01:59 PM
  17. Corbu's Avatar
    TD Securities Inc.

    Action Note

    Equity Research / January 26, 2017 / Daniel Chan, CFA

    Recommendation: BUY / Risk: HIGH / 12-Month Target Price: US$10.00

    Blackberry Ltd.
    Analyst Summit 2017: Many Growth Opportunities


    Event
    BlackBerry held its Analyst Summit this week.


    Impact: NEUTRAL

    BlackBerry highlighted three growth pillars, which is consistent with our thesis that the company has a number of growth opportunities: Internet of Things (IoT), Unified Endpoint Management (UEM), and Licensing.

    We believe IoT continues to be a major growth opportunity. We believe BlackBerry has a large opportunity to grow its automotive business as it expands its offerings to other systems in the car and offers new services. Consistent with our view following our lunch with John Chen at CES, management believes it can grow its automotive opportunity by 3x. Radar also seems to be doing very well with some large potential customers (we believe Fedex and/or UPS) testing out the system. BlackBerry is also looking to diversify QNX into markets other than automotive, such as medical.

    Still developing the UEM sales channel, but good progress is being made. The primary inhibitor to growth in the UEM business is the sales channel. Where the old BlackBerry primarily sold to carriers, the new BlackBerry needs to sell to enterprises. BlackBerry has added 360 new partners so far this FY, increased its sales headcount by 75%, and channel billings in Q3/F17 were more than 60%. We also believe the company is trying to partner with systems integrators, which we believe would be a major win. With a strong product portfolio, we believe channel development should drive growth.

    Management believes handset licensing could lead to more BlackBerry devices than ever. Just for reference, BlackBerry's peak device volume was 52mm units in F2011. If licensing costs are $10-$20 per unit, that represents a $520mm-$1.0bln opportunity at 80%+ gross margins. While we do believe that this is possible over the long term, we do not believe this goal is achieved until BlackBerry's version of Android is certified for use by government and regulated industries.

    TD Investment Conclusion

    The Event confirms our view that the risk/reward is favourable.
    We continue to believe the shares are supported by the value of BlackBerry's cash and patents, while there are many opportunities in IoT, UEM, and handset licensing. We believe BlackBerry is well-positioned for growth and maintain our BUY rating.

    Details

    We believe IoT continues to be a major growth opportunity.
    The company claimed that it is having more discussions now than ever about IoT. We would segment BlackBerry's IoT opportunity into three segments:

    1. Can grow the automotive opportunity by 3x. Given BlackBerry's dominance of the infotainment segment, BlackBerry has a huge opportunity to expand its wallet share into other systems, such as advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and digital clusters, which are growing faster than infotainment. The company is also looking to help car manufacturers consolidate and simplify their electronic systems. Overall, management believes it can expand its opportunity by 3x in this vertical, which is consistent with our view following our lunch with John Chen. The company also demonstrated a Vehicle Management System (VMS) that allowed manufacturers to see what software the installed base was running and manage over-the-air (OTA) updates. This could be a valuable, cost-saving platform for car manufacturers to manage and analyze its vehicles. Even more interesting is that BlackBerry is looking to establish a database of legal and untampered software against which cars need to be verified to ensure safety. Although we view this as a long-term opportunity, we believe this could be a very important and highly valuable service as we move towards autonomous driving.

    2. Radar continues to do well. Feedback from Radar continues to be strong. Radar's first customer, Caravan, described how it was seeing higher utilization and optimized operations since its rollout. For example, a yard check at Caravan's Oakville lot would normally take 2 hours to complete manually, but takes only seconds using Radar. Consistent with our checks at CES, we believe large customers, such as Fedex and/or UPS, are testing out the solution. We believe a win with any large customer would be a major point of validation for the solution and may spur other customers to adopt it. Also consistent with our initial assumptions, Radar hardware is being sold for $300 with a $20-$30 monthly fee. Again, this equates to about a $2.1bln market for hardware sales and $1.7-$2.5bln per year in recurring services revenue.

    3. Expansion into markets where embedded software and critical infrastructure is important (medical, utilities, transportation). Management wants to diversify QNX's exposure into markets outside the automotive space. We believe medical represents a significant greenfield opportunity. We spoke to BlackBerry's medical specialist and she indicated that many of the connected medical devices could easily be hacked wirelessly to cause severe damage to patients. This is an area that BlackBerry's security expertise could be highly valuable. We view these as long-term opportunities since they tend to take longer to develop than other verticals.

    UEM growth will depend on channel development. BlackBerry currently has a strong product portfolio; however, the primary challenge is the channel. In the case of its UEM (formally known as BES12) business, BlackBerry is still in the process of developing a channel to sell enterprise software. Recall that the company's previous business model primarily sold to carriers. Our discussions with management indicated that the channel was developing well with 360 new partners YTD in F2017 to reach a total of 1,192 partners. BlackBerry's focus on its go-to-market strategy is evident – BlackBerry's sales headcount has grown by 75% and channel billings in Q3/F17 were more than 60%. We expect the company to partner with system integrators, such as Accenture and Deloitte, in the future which will help reach larger accounts at higher levels.

    Management believes device licensing can be big. They believe they will have more BlackBerry devices than ever before considering there will be more manufacturers making their devices. Just for reference, BlackBerry's peak device volume was 52mm units in F2011. If licensing costs are $10-$20 per unit, that represents a $520mm-$1.0bln opportunity at 80%+ gross margins. While we do believe this is possible over the long term, we don't believe this goal is achieved until BlackBerry's version of Android is certified for use by government and regulated industries. It is at that point when BlackBerry is able to open up the government and enterprise market to Android vendors which have had little success penetrating those markets. BlackBerry also mentioned it expects to sign a partner for India soon.
    01-28-17 02:15 PM
  18. rarsen's Avatar
    OT from the general Security file:

    Online security 101: Tips for protecting your privacy from hackers and spies | ZDNet

    This new ransomware 'bluff' trick is costing victims big, even though their files are never really in danger | ZDNet
    Instead of actually infecting the victim, they're bluffing a ransomware attack, duping target organisations into thinking they're network has been locked. This scheme is successful enough that businesses are being scared into paying a ransom when there really wasn't any need to, according to research by Citrix. Of those who've fallen victim to a bluff ransomware attack, almost two thirds have actually ended up paying a ransom to the perpetrators, each time putting an average of £13,412 into the pockets of the nefarious actors carrying out these schemes. Two thirds of the large businesses have paid out between £10,000 and £25,000 after falling for this scam, while one in twenty has paid over £25,000.
    CDM76, bbjdog, masterful and 5 others like this.
    01-29-17 07:34 PM
  19. spiller's Avatar
    If this phone has a great camera, nice screen, good battery, and solid build quality, it doesn't need to be the fastest. Get the camera quality right and that will be huge. https://www.slashgear.com/blackberry...ixel-30473238/
    01-30-17 08:59 AM
  20. Corbu's Avatar
    BlackBerry CEO on Trump's stance on immigration: 'It will hurt trade' - Video - BNN

    John Chen, CEO of BlackBerry joins BNN to provide his perspective on Donald Trump's travel ban and the U.S. president's stance on immigration.
    01-30-17 11:44 AM
  21. Corbu's Avatar
    BlackBerry, Microsoft and the Ever-Smarter Connected Car | Tech Buzz | TechNewsWorld
    OPINION
    BlackBerry, Microsoft and the Ever-Smarter Connected Car
    By Rob Enderle
    01-30-17 12:03 PM
  22. Corbu's Avatar
    01-30-17 02:34 PM
  23. Corbu's Avatar
    Had not seen this one yet. From Roland Quandt, who seems to know his stuff:

    rarsen, KuroKei, bbjdog and 4 others like this.
    01-30-17 08:04 PM
  24. Corbu's Avatar
    01-30-17 08:07 PM
  25. Corbu's Avatar
    https://www.wsj.com/articles/is-it-a...ter-1474251122
    Is It a Car or a Computer?

    New features for the connected car go way beyond touch screen technology

    Software developers are turning cars into rolling personal computers.

    Lots of attention is still paid to horsepower, curves in the metal, and giving drivers the ultimate creature comfort behind the wheel: the ability to relax and let the car take over. But even as the industry accelerates toward a self-driving future, it’s the touch screen in the dashboard and the slick smartphone app that increasingly sway buyers’ decisions in the showroom.

    Many vehicle models now offer versions of the iPhone or Android interface in the car’s touch screen, giving users the familiar look and feel of their smartphones. Meanwhile, app developers are leveraging the car-phone link and improved voice-recognition systems to offer extras such as music streaming and the ability to send or receive text messages with hands on the wheel and eyes on the road.

    The technological sprint toward the connected car faces potential roadblocks, though. State and federal regulators are grappling with how to prevent all of that tech from becoming a dangerous distraction. Semiautonomous features such as hands-free highway steering and lane changing are under scrutiny after the fatal crash in May of a Tesla car using its Autopilot system.

    Security is another factor. Earlier this year, two car thieves in Houston were caught on camera using a laptop to hack into the ignition system of a 2010 Jeep Wrangler and steal it. Last year, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV had to recall 1.4 million cars after two hackers showed they could control a 2014 Jeep Cherokee’s engine and other systems through a software loophole.

    Indeed, newfangled in-car technology carries risks for auto makers. In recent years, surveys by research firm J.D. Power & Associates have shown a jump in consumer complaints about clunky voice-recognition systems and infotainment systems that aren’t intuitive and easy to use. Those gripes have been known to send a car brand’s quality ratings plunging in closely watched consumer surveys.

    Those caution flags aside, car companies haven’t stopped trying to fill vehicles with the digital functionality that consumers are pining for. Here are seven innovations that are available on some vehicles today, or will be in the near future.

    Lock and unlock with your phone: German automotive supplier Continental AG recently showed a system that would allow an owner’s smartphone essentially to serve as a virtual key. Using technology called Bluetooth low energy, the car recognizes the smartphone in the user’s pocket or purse upon approach, unlocking the doors and allowing the engine to be fired up. The feature is not expected to hit the market for at least 18 months. Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Co. already have smartphone apps for newer models that can remotely unlock and start their cars.

    Give your car a virtual checkup: Drivers can be alerted to lurking service issues such as low tire or oil pressure via an app from AutoNet Mobile Inc., based in Santa Rosa, Calif. The app automatically loops in the owner’s dealership and can help schedule service appointments when needed. GM’s OnStar safety and entertainment system offers a feature on some models that monitors the status of the vehicle’s starter motor, fuel pump and 12-volt battery, sending an alert at any sign of trouble. GM says the system reduces unnecessary repairs and helps avoid bigger problems down the road.

    Touch screens you don’t need to touch: Many auto makers are phasing out radio buttons and knobs for touch screens. Now, some are going a step further with the use of gesture-control technology, which allows the driver to control radio and other commands through hand signals. Using Delphi Automotive PLC’s gesture control system, a driver’s twirl of the finger clockwise will raise the radio’s volume, for example. An incoming call can be batted away with a quick hand wave to the right. The system can be found on luxury models today, including BMW AG’s 7 series luxury sedan.

    Mirrors go high tech: A new rearview mirror from Gentex Corp., in Zeeland, Mich., provides a much wider view behind the car. The “rear-vision system” streams a high-definition image to the mirror from a camera mounted on the rear of the vehicle, roughly doubling the driver’s rear field of vision. It also eliminates the obstructed view from the vehicle’s pillars and back-seat headrests. The system made its debut in the Cadillac CT6 luxury sedan that went on sale this spring. The flip of a switch can restore the mirror’s conventional view, an important backup if the camera is obstructed by debris or fails to operate.

    Valet parking by phone: German supplier Robert Bosch GmbH in June said it was developing a system that will let drivers park their cars with their smartphones from even a few hundred feet away from the vehicle. The car must first “learn” how to reach a specific spot, so it requires the driver to park in that spot once to program it. After that, the driver can get out and have the car park itself. Other suppliers and auto makers also are developing automatic parking, which will serve as a building block toward fully autonomous vehicles. Bosch’s system leapfrogs some others by its ability to navigate even into narrow spaces that require tight turns. The supplier estimates that it will be offered on a vehicle within two to three years.

    Technology to prevent drowsy driving: Systems to keep drivers from nodding off at the wheel are going mainstream, several years after they began popping up on Mercedes and other pricey luxury models. Ford, Nissan, Subaru and other car brands offer driver-alert systems that monitor inputs from the steering wheel and gas pedal to sense driver drowsiness and emit an audible or visual alert. Newer systems use cameras to monitor the driver’s face for signs of fatigue. Auto makers are likely to make broader use of such driver-monitoring systems as they roll out self-driving vehicles that require drivers to be alert and ready to take the wheel in certain situations. GM will include an eye-tracking system on its Super Cruise semiautonomous technology, due out next year on a Cadillac model.

    Over-the-air updates: Consumers are accustomed to updating their smartphone apps and operating systems in a flash. But on a vehicle’s infotainment system, it isn’t that easy. Most cars still can’t upgrade an app or the touch-screen interface—the owner either is stuck with that system for the life of the vehicle, or must visit the dealership for a software upgrade. But increasingly auto makers are offering the ability to update some infotainment features “over the air,” without a service visit. Electric-car maker Tesla Motors Inc. has made the broadest use of over-the-air updates, using the technology to update software that controls its Autopilot system and make other tweaks to the car’s driving dynamics.
    CDM76, Mr BBRY, rarsen and 4 others like this.
    01-30-17 08:26 PM
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