New Product Announcement
Kenwood to launch world's first car-navigation system enabling to directly connect with iPod: HDD [Smá:t] Navi, designed with a dedicated GUI.
With a product concept being "Smart Operation," "Smart Entertainment" and "Smart Design," Kenwood launches a proprietary HDD navigation system installed with Windows®; Automotive Ver. 4.2, first of its kind in Japan, in the automotive multimedia market where a fierce battle takes place.
Note: GUI: Graphic User Interface
Following on the heels of the recent launch of a new car audio system, Kenwood Corporation (Head office: Hachioji, Tokyo; President & CEO: Haruo Kawahara) will market its proprietary and world's first hard disc drive ("HDD") car navigation system, dubbed "HDD [Smá:t] Navi*1," which uses a dedicated GUI to control iPod*2 with various functions such as "text display on the large screen," "touch panel control" and "direct cable connection."
The HDD [Smá:t] Navi has been developed with such features as "Smart Operation — easy operation by anybody through universal design," "Smart Entertainment — equipped with popular entertainment functions" and "Smart Design — unparalleled design appealing to the senses," employing user interface, digital and network technologies, which Kenwood has cultivated for many years. The product is also a new HDD navigation system based on proprietary technologies that is compatible with Apple Computer Inc.'s iPod, which is becoming the most popular portable HDD audio equipment.
Kenwood aims to stimulate the automotive multimedia market while increasing its presence in the consumer car navigation market where competition is severe, by strongly appealing to the consumer market with its new "automotive entertainment",; the HDD [Smá:t] Navi, which is introduced ahead of other companies an industry first offers.
Compatible with iPod — Direct connection with iPod enables easy-control
Connecting iPod with the separately sold "KNA-i77" cable, the new product can reproduce music on the portable HDD audio system, which is now attracting great attention not only in Japan but also throughout the world. Meanwhile, iPod can be operated through the large-size display panel of "HDM-555." The product allows users to operate the system by directly touching the panel, and displays "play lists," "artists" and "album names" as does iPod. This can be said to be an epoch-making system for iPod users. As users can even charge iPod in the vehicle, they can enjoy iPod when going out with it. We would like to proposeKenwood is proposing to add the new entertainment based on iPod for automobiles, which are equipped with increasingly diverse equipment, as typified by DVD players and car theater systems.
* Haruo Kawahara, President & CEO, Kenwood Corporation
"Since its foundation, Kenwood Corporation has been regarding it our duty to create discovering and inspiring, by combining its proprietary high fidelity techniques with cutting-edge technologies. This is a special year that marks the 25th anniversary of Kenwood's car electronics business, and it is our great honor to be able to now introduce a new audio system and a car navigation product, both compatible with iPod that is becoming the most popular in the market, in collaboration with Apple Computer, Inc. I believe that Kenwood will be able to activate the automotive multimedia market while taking the initiative in the car navigation market where fierce competition takes place, by making a strong appeal to the consumer market with this new ‘automotive entertainment’ that the company realized first in the world."
Kenwood's Car Electronics Business Strategy
Since Kenwood entered the car electronics field in 1980, it has been offering innovative and sophisticated products to the market by drawing on its marketing capabilities to identify potential needs and product planning/development/designing capabilities and materialize them, while seeking to combine its traditional high fidelity techniques with cutting-edge technologies.
In the car audio segment, Kenwood has been creating proposals and products that are always a step ahead of time, such as the industry's first offer of detachable car audio, a car audio with security functions, MP3 playback compatible car audio and digital broadcasting compatible car audio, in addition to an iPod compatible car audio that will be launched this March, to establish a world-renowned brand presence across the world. Also in the car navigation segment, Kenwood has engaged in a product strategy that places emphasis on user interface since its market entry in 1992, as shown by the fact that it became the industry's first in adopting a touch panel method and voice recognition system and others. Launching in the recent years "Theater Navi" that strikes the balance between its functionality and entertainment feature through the integration of a DVD receiver and HDD navigation system, Kenwood continues to propose the amenities of new car electronics to the market.
Further, it conducted a review of the joint development framework for car navigation systems at the end of last year to introduce a new HDD navigation system that uses its proprietary technologies and start marketing it to certain sales channels. The model to be launched this time is a product targeted at the wider commercial market and aims at providing the main battlefield of the commercial car navigation market with new appeals, activating the market further and increasing our presence by not only adopting Windows®; Automotive Ver. 4.2 for the first time in Japan but also achieving an iPod compatible user interface, better than car audio systems.
Looking forward, Kenwood will accelerate its efforts, which include the pursuit of making car electronics and home electronics increasingly more seamless and the introduction of car multimedia systems that enjoy higher compatibility with not only iPod but also its own portable digital audio products by making full use of its digital and network technologies, to create "Mobile & Home Multimedia System" business.
* A message from Mr. Naotoshi Shimizu, Senior Account Manager of Automotive Business Unit, Embedded Solutions Marketing Headquarters, Microsoft Corporation
"We are very proud to have our Microsoft®; Windows®; Automotive adopted in Kenwood Corporation's car navigation system, "HDD [Smá:t] Navi". Microsoft offers Windows®; Automotive as a software platform for vehicle-installed digital terminals with a view to promoting in-vehicle digital experiences further. We are sure that your navigation systems with Microsoft®; Windows®; Automotive will enable digital media that can be used in-vehicle to be more widespread and popular."
Main Features of the Product
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