Connected in 14 seconds: Hyundai orchestrates Bluetooth race, shows the ease of in-car connectivity

In his 1967 hit song What a wonderful world, Louis Armstrong sang, “I hear babies cry. I watch them grow. They’ll learn much more than I’ll ever know.” And today, looking at the ability of even toddlers to pick up the latest digital technology that often seems complicated anyone over 30, these words seem to be truer than they ever were all those decades ago.

Using the proficiency of young’uns in all things digital as their premise, Hyundai and Shine have released a new TVC that illustrates how easily Hyundai family wagons can be connected to Bluetooth. The 30-second spot plays out as a race between a pair of parents and their daughter as they vie to connect their phones to matching Hyundai wagons. Rather tellingly, while the parents are hurriedly paging through the instruction manual, the daughter connects the phone and calls her parents through the hands-free interface.                      

Although the ad isn’t the most creative spot to have been released, the family dynamic is endearing and execution delivers the point that connecting the phone through the Bluetooth interface is so easy that even a hip-high child can do it.

Hyundai has made a pretty major push into the car connectivity space in recent months. Last year, the car company launched the IQ Rewards platform that acts as rewards system, entertainment centre, and Hyundai customer community hub all in one and is designed to keep passengers occupied with Kiwi content on long drives.     

And it isn’t only car brands that pushing vehicle connectivity. Digital radio streaming services are also making a major play in this area and, in doing so, are stepping on the veritable safe zone that traditional radio broadcasters have enjoyed until now.       

“Nearly half of all radio listening takes place in the car and we knew early on that to redefine radio, we would need to seamlessly deliver Pandora through in-car entertainment systems,” Melanie Reece, the New Zealand commercial director for Pandora, told StopPress last year.

“Pandora has been working with car manufacturers for the past six to seven years to have Pandora as an intuitive feature in the in dashboard. Right now we are in over 130 different car models, across the US and working hard with local companies to integrate this functionality in new models in new Zealand. We are on track to be present in 60 percent of the new cars launching in this country this year.”


In addition to this, Pandora has also penned partnerships with Alpine, Audiovox, Clarion, Dual Electronics, JVC, Kenwood, Pioneer and Sony to produce aftermarket devices that enable Pandora streaming in vehicles. Reece says that there are currently over 270 devices on the market that can be purchased to incorporate in-car streaming.

And Spotify is also making a similar charge to become a passenger in Kiwi cars through several of its partnerships.

“Spotify is available via the Ford Sync AppLink system and Volvo’s Sensus Connected Touch system, which offers the first fully-integrated in-dashboard, voice-activated music experience for drivers on the road,” said Kate Vale, Spotify’s managing director for the Australian and New Zealand markets.

And with Google and Apple also joining the fight for the car dashboard, the FM radio shrine seems to be there for the taking—and in much the same way that SVOD has disrupted the TV market, radio similarly seems on the verge of a battle of its own.             

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