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Detroit At CES: New Marley Audio Gear, Ford Sets Developer Confab, Covisint Does Google Glass

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Google co-founder Sergey Brin in an early version of Google Glass.

Google co-founder Sergey Brin in an early version of Google Glass.

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LAS VEGAS (WWJ) – Michigan was front and center again Tuesday at the International CES, formerly known as the Consumer Electronics Show.

Audio gear maker House of Marley, a sister company to Commerce Township-based Homedics and HMDX, rolled out a bunch of new personal audio and lifestyle products.

And Ford Motor Co. announced an industry first, a developer conference for automotive apps, as well as an in-car link with Domino’s Pizza’s mobile app.

Also, Detroit’s Covisint Corp. announced a deal to use its secure connectivity service to provide vehicle information for owners of a Hyundai model through Google Glass, the search giant’s wearable computer.

As has been the case since the brand was introduced, the Marley gear features sustainably sourced, earth-friendly materials, including Rewind fabric — made of recycled plastic bottles, organically grown cotton and reclaimed hemp — as well as cotton and canvas textiles, recycled plastics, recyclable metals, bamboo and Forest Stewardship Council certified woods.

The Legend ANC over-ear headphones with active noise canceling retail for $299.99 and will be introduced this fall. Versions of the Liberate XL Bluetooth wireless over-ear headphones retail for $219.99 and $169.99 and will be available in this spring. Marley is also rolling out new Chant in-ear headphones for $39.99, available next month. The Liberate Bluetooth speaker retails for $169.99 and will be available in May. A new 220-watt premium home audio system, One Foundation, will retail for $999.99 and will be available in April. A less expensive version, called Get Together, will sell for $219.99. More at http://www.thehouseofmarley.com.

HMDX also rolled out new audio, including wireless Bluetooth earbuds, speakers and boom boxes, at prices ranging from $24.99 to $59.99. More at http://www.hmdxaudio.com.

Meanwhile, Ford says it will host the first-ever automotive mobile app developer conference in Dearborn this June. Mobile app developers will have the opportunity to learn about the latest capabilities of Ford Sync AppLink and how best to utilize available APIs and development tools directly from Ford engineers.

Prior to the conference, developers will have a chance to earn Sync technology development kits and one-on-one support from Ford engineers through a mobile app competition at http://developer.ford.com. The runs from Jan. 8 to Feb. 7.

Ford Sync AppLink is already on the road in more than 1.5 million vehicles in North America, and will launch globally in Europe and Asia later this year. Last week, Ford announced 3.4 million more Sync-equipped vehicles currently on the road will qualify for a downloadable upgrade to add AppLink capability later this year.

At CES, Ford announced public availability of the application programming interfaces for Sync AppLink, which has enabled any developer to integrate an app with Ford vehicles. Shortly afterward, Ford contributed the Sync AppLink code to the open-source Genivi SmartDeviceLink project, enabling the platform to become an industry standard that can be used freely by any manufacturer or supplier.

New capabilities in the next generation of Ford Sync AppLink include the ability to read a variety of real-time vehicle data through the AppLink interface such as speed, acceleration, odometer and location. These data can be used by connected apps to further personalize the driving experience. For example, developers can take advantage of the more accurate GPS signal from the car to provide upgraded location-based apps, while other signals can be used to track and manage vehicle usage, service intervals, fuel efficiency and much more

With voice pass-through, developers no longer need to load a set of voice commands into the vehicle audio system for recognition by the Sync voice engine. Voice pass-through passes the driver’s audio directly to the app for recognition by the same on-device or cloud-powered engine used when not connected to the vehicle. This will give drivers a more consistent user experience, whether using the app in or out of the car.

Also, drivers can now launch apps on their mobile device by pressing the Sync voice button on the steering wheel and just saying the name of the app without having to say “mobile applications” first.

Developers can now provide background notifications to drivers that are read aloud on the audio system. Alerts for severe weather or traffic conditions can be provided by apps on a connected device even when no apps are active through AppLink, such as when listening to the radio or a CD

Submissions to the app contest will be judged on innovation, originality and suitability for in-vehicle use. Developers can visit the Ford developer tools giveaway page, https://developer.ford.com/pages/developer-contest, to submit ideas by Feb. 7.

Dates and agendas for the Ford Developer Conference will be posted to https://developer.ford.com/pages/ford-developer-conference. Interested developers can receive early notification about conference information by visiting the developer conference page and submitting contact information.

Ford also announced that Domino’s Pizza’s mobile app will be part of Sync AppLink starting around June 1. Domino’s customers can save their favorite pizza and menu item combination, address and payment information using the Easy Order function at http://www.dominos.com or on their mobile app. The order can then be placed through the mobile app using simple voice commands provided by the Sync system.

Also, Covisint Corp., the secure collaboration technology provider spun out of Compuware Corp., said its technology will be used to allow owners of the Hyundai Genesis to get vehicle information through the Google Glass wearable eyeglass-style computer when it goes on the market later this year.

Included will be remote starting, point-of-interest searches, vehicle location, fuel alerts and nearby gas information, vehicle health reports, diagnostic and maintenance alerts, temperature and HVAC controls, roadside assistance and Blue Link call center engagement.

It will first be available to a limited number of “Explorers” — early adopters of Google Glass technology — and rolled out to larger populations of Hyundai owners soon after.

West Michigan’s Whirlpool Corp. also showed off a line of smart appliances designed for the home of the future.

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