Harman International Industries -- the company behind such audio giants as Harman Kardon and JBL -- has announced it is supported the Android Open Accessory Protocol. That's the feature announced back at Google IO in May that will let you connect your Android 3.1 tablet and Android 2.3.4 smartphone to, well, anything.
The obvious play here is for car audio, and Harman specifically mentions its Aha Radio service. But also look for navigation and steering wheel control, as well as being able to share music and movies to passengers' seats as well.
No word on when we'll see AOAP-enabled dash units, but it's gonna be pretty sweet when we do. Check out the full press release after the break.
Addition of Android Open Accessory Protocol allows HARMAN to offer dashboard controls for connected smartphones and tablets
STAMFORD, Conn. – HARMAN International Industries announced today that it supports the Android Open Accessory Protocol, the first major technology partner in the automotive industry to offer the new connectivity standard. With the Android protocol built into HARMAN’s automotive offerings, users can seamlessly control smartphone or tablet content – such as music, movies or navigation apps – through a car’s dashboard or steering-wheel controls.
Adoption of the new standard continues HARMAN infotainment platform’s industry-leading support of all major mobile operating systems, including Apple’s iOS, Research in Motion’s BlackBerry platform and Nokia’s existing mobile systems. The Android Open Accessory Protocol is supported across all HARMAN infotainment platforms, so it can be used in entry-level, mid-priced and luxury automobiles. It is available now for automotive installations and extends the Android email and SMS support previously launched by HARMAN.
“Consumers no longer view their living room, workplace, and personal devices as separate domains,” said HARMAN chief executive Dinesh Paliwal. “Connectivity is fast becoming a fundamental expectation and lifestyle requirement. Consumers want to connect simply and safely in their cars, and by making this Android standard part of our OEM packages, we continue to build upon our leadership in smartphone connectivity and integration.”
With the Android Open Accessory Protocol, drivers will be able to safely activate music apps, such as HARMAN’s Aha Radio service, through voice activation or steering wheel controls. Additionally, built-in navigation systems become more robust, as popular apps that provide information on nearby restaurants, tourist spots or gas stations can be overlaid onto existing map software. Passengers benefit as well, as Android integration allows content to be streamed to entertainment devices used in rear seats.
The Android Open Accessory Protocol is built into devices running Android 3.1 (Honeycomb) and is a software upgrade for devices running Android 2.3.4 (Gingerbread) and later. The protocol allows Android devices to connect to the dashboard or rear-seat installations via USB.
HARMAN (www.harman.com) designs, manufactures and markets a wide range of audio and infotainment solutions for the automotive, consumer and professional markets – supported by 15 leading brands, including AKG, Harman Kardon, Infinity, JBL, Lexicon and Mark Levinson. The company is admired by audiophiles across multiple generations and supports leading professional entertainers and the venues where they perform. More than 20 million automobiles on the road today are equipped with HARMAN audio and infotainment systems. HARMAN has a workforce of about 11,800 people across the Americas, Europe and Asia, and reported sales of $3.6 billion for the 12 months ended March 31, 2011. The company’s shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol NYSE: HAR.