2018 Recruiting has begun

Yes, we are looking to hire again. Please have a look below on what we are looking for.

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Different Ways of Building Apps For Connected Cars

General Motors Product Strategy and Infotainment Director Greg Ross once said that building applications was a great way to personalize our cars, fit them with the latest technology developments and keep vehicles up-to-date. In fact, connected car apps should play the same role as any smartphone app – make driver’s life better! The new market of connected (or smart) cars that is about to emerge and go mainstream provides great opportunities and new challenges for both application developers and car makers that should now focus more on innovation.

As the concept of connected cars becomes more accepted by mass market, 3rd party app developers will undoubtedly rush in this new app dev space to capitalize on it. Today, several approaches towards building applications for smart cars are employed. Each of them has own peculiarities and challenges. Let’s review some of them.

In-Vehicle Information Systems Apps

In-Vehicle Information (IVI) systems are developed exclusively by the original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). Most of core development projects are normally outsourced to 3rd party developers that code “brains” for the car. Building external apps is impossible without their integration with the respective software platforms. For instance, to create a car user application, developers will have to not only integrate the code with existing IVI platforms such as BlackBerry QNX CARFord Sync System or open-source Genivi, but also have the car maker embed it into their car-ware. Using Linux platforms can significantly facilitate the app making process, but not its launch to the app store.

API based development

In cases where mobile connection between a car maker and a vehicle is enabled on production line, the car manufacturer takes on full responsibility for car data gathering and analysis. For instance, General Motors OnStar was launched back in 1996. The service gathers data provided by GPS, electronics sensors, engine control units and other dashboards in order to provide drivers with auxiliary opportunities for safer and more convenient driving. This data helps simplify the entire application development process. Many drivers in developed countries are actually already used to such innovative features as:

  • en-route tech support,
  • insurance calculators that are based on user behavior rather than demographic parameters,
  • real-time car location tracking;
  • teen drivers monitoring;
  • remote vehicle blocking;
  • finding a car on a parking lot, etc.

The IoT evolution blended with API availability allows for building new user apps with unique functionality and will definitely change the modern face of automotive industry.

Apps that run on a smartphone

This type of application development suggests that apps are launched on a smartphone, not on IVI systems. In this case apps communicate with a car via a strictly dedicated API channel and don’t let 3rd party developers have access to the main car functions such as braking or electronics systems. This approach is perfect for building convenient and safe in-vehicle infotainment apps. This configuration transforms any car into a highly interactive gadget or smartphone accessory. Building such apps is much easier than IVI-based apps, since software adapts to the smartphone and API usage is fully regulated by an automaker.

For example, Ford Motor Company prohibits app developers from accessing and manipulating their car head units. However, developers can get this access through a special API set. In case of Ford cars, the head unit serves as a display only and is fully managed by a smartphone.

Are you looking to build a connected car app and need professional assistance with specification, PoC, prototyping and software development?

Types of car integration with a smartphone:

  • Steering wheel controls and built-in voice recognition technology can be used to manage an app on a smartphone;
  • Voice recognition technology (e.g. Apple’s Siri or Google Now) can be used to manage IVI apps with a smartphone;
  • Built-in IVI becomes a second screen for smartphone apps using APIs

Anyway, what matters most is the secure use of a smartphone application by reducing cognitive load on drivers. For instance, U.S. startup CloudCar aims to reduce cognitive load on drivers by unifying the similar functional opportunities from different apps in a single interface. They also help filter out information based on contextual data that’s accessed through a smartphone. So, if you’re driving in a heavy traffic, the app won’t show you any notifications to avoid distraction. Also referred to as a dynamic HMI, this approach becomes more and more popular among car app developers these days.

Access to vehicle data through on-board diagnostic systems (OBD-II)

The most transparent way of building apps for connected cars is based on data gathering from OBD-II. Data that is provided by on-board diagnostics (that’s obligatory in all cars for many years now) can be used as a fundament for car app development. When using this technology, apps are run on a smartphone or right in the Cloud. OBD-II port restricts developer access to OEM systems and, thus, apps can’t affect car control or in-vehicle electronics systems. Instant data collected at driving and received from accelerometer, gyroscope and GPS open truly unlimited opportunities for app developers. Market of such apps is only being developed now with the United States leading the way (e.g., AutomaticZubiDash or Mojio). Some projects provide APIs that facilitate app coding by 3rd party developers and help transform proprietary solutions into SDK platforms.

Data collected from in-vehicle systems and algorithm of their analysis give value to other adjacent industries. Insurance is a good example. This approach of app development enables new “pay as you drive” products and provides invaluable stats for police stations (number and types of accidents) and road management services.

Application security remains one of the fundamental issues when it comes to software development today. Cases of car hacking are many and so are fraudulent apps that phish or steal sensitive user data. While security issues will not slow down the evolution of connected car technologies, they’ll most likely change the way apps are built today. Do you agree?

Don’t forget to check our IoT website to stay tuned on the latest industry developments!

Full Article can be found here: https://intersog.com/blog/different-ways-of-building-apps-for-connected-cars/

Popular Apps of 2013

Apple has officially unveiled its most downloaded apps of the year and—well whaddaya know—Candy Crush comes in strong at number 1. There were, however, a few legitimate surprises thrown into the mix

For one, Pandora comes in at number 9 with Spotify nowhere to be seen. Given the fact that Pandora’s been around longer (meaning many would already have it downloaded), you’d think it would have been overtaken by now. That certainly seems to be the case with Facebook, which—though obviously wildly popular—is sitting a full four slots below Vine; it’s almost certainly due to the fact that most users have already downloaded Facebook in past years.

There’s nothing we love quite as much as games though, with Minecraft taking the number one spot in paid apps and Candy Crush as its free (debatable) equivalent. Naturally the iPad rankings saw apps more conducive to a larger screen like iBooks and Netflix, but interestingly enough, they were pretty devoid of social media apps—at least when comparing to the iPhone’s.


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Which music should you listen to for productivity?

Oftentimes we’ve innumerable distractions at the job competing for our attention. Fortunately, music can help put us back on a more productive track.

Studies out of the University or college of Birmingham, England, show that music is effective in raising efficiency in repetitive work – so if you’re mindlessly checking email or filling out a spreadsheet, adding some tunes will make your task go by that much faster.

But when it comes to tasks that require more brainpower, finding that perfect playlist is not so easy. Luckily, we have science at our disposal to help.

Based on some of what we know about how music affects productivity, you should try funnelling this kind of music through your headphones the next time you’re feeling unproductive:

Songs that include sounds of nature

Researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute recently discovered that adding a natural element could boost moods and focus.

Sounds of nature can mask intelligible speech just as well as white noise while also enhancing cognitive functioning, optimising the ability to concentrate, and increasing overall worker satisfaction, the researchers found. The mountain stream sound researchers used in their study also possessed enough randomness that it didn’t distract test subjects.

You could attempt hearing recordings of nature sounds simply, or check out this tranquil vocals that incorporates sounds of water:

Songs you love

Hearing music you prefer can cause you to feel better. Teresa Lesiuk, an assistant teacher in the music treatment method program at the School of Miami, discovered that personal choice in music is important, in those who find themselves moderately skilled at their careers especially.

Generally participants in her studies who paid attention to music they enjoyed completed their duties quicker and developed better ideas than those who didn’t because the music improved their mood.

“When you’re stressed, you might make a decision more hastily; you have a very narrow focus of attention, ” she told the New York Times. “When you’re in a positive mood, you’re able to take in more options. ”


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Facebook plans suite of standalone mobile apps for 2014

Facebook’s new Messenger app is lightning fast and utilitarian — a vision of the “mobile first” mentality Facebook promised one year ago. In an earnings call two weeks after Messenger launched, CEO Mark Zuckerberg reflected on how the company had “historically” moved forward by building a lot of features into its core app — and how things were about to change. “We also have a few separate apps that are widely used, such as Instagram and Messenger, our standalone messaging app,” he said. “In the future, we expect to develop more of these services to help people share.”


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Recruiting has begun

Yes, we are looking to hire again. Please have a look below on what we are looking for.

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What a wild ride!

2012 was very kind to us and we hope it was to you as well. As we gear forward to 2013, it will be interesting to see what future will bring. We have put together a little write-up below to think back of what worked and what did not in 2012.

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How To Make your Design Super-Fast

Make your design minimalistic

It stands to reason that, when you produce a bare-bones design, your app simply has fewer elements to weight. When there are fewer elements to weight, you can meaningfully increase the speed of your app.

It all depends on your viewpoint of how you approach design. You can save yourself a lot of trouble from the very beginning by designing smartly to avoid harmful practices that affect your app’s loading speed.

Designers need to stick to the true theory of minimalism to come up with a app that’s light on its feet and doesn’t take forever to weight from one screen to the next.

Minimalistic features are:

  • A hamburger menu
  • More white or negative space
  • Short forms
  • Smaller images
  • Just one font instead of different types of fonts

We have launched our new website!

We’re excited to unveil the new C3Mdesigns site today! If you log on to c3mdesigns.com, you’re going to see that there’s way more for you to explore.

Start Exploring

Homepage – Consider it the website at a glance. If you don’t have the time right now to explore the site, just scroll the page to check out what we’ve got in store.

Products – What is product do we use? and what does it do? Find out about all the great features and benefits of joining C3Mdesigns Company

Our Vision – Learn more about the C3Mdesigns Company’s vision, values, and our goals.

Meet the Team – Get to know us a little better with the new team page.

Blog – Keep up with the latest news by browsing our blog for articles on e-learning and training styles and practical applications for your business.

After all the hard work, we’re absolutely thrilled to officially announce the launch of our new website. Come visit us at c3mdesigns.com, and we’re certain you’ll enjoy the experience.