Aha and Podiobooks to Deliver In-Vehicle Streaming Audiobooks

​Drivers will soon be able to listen to streaming on-demand audiobooks in their vehicles thanks to a new partnership between Aha by Harman, the provider of audio and infotainment products, and Podiobooks.com, which has a large collection of free serialized online audiobooks.

As a result of the deal, after downloading the Aha app for iPhone or Android, users can connect their smart phone to the in-vehicle entertainment system, pick one or more audiobooks from the hundreds of available titles, and select them as “presets”—similar to the way one traditionally selects preset radio stations. After that, users can listen to the audiobook, controlling the volume, track number, etc. via the steering column interface.

“The audiobook [listening] experience will be identical to the way you would listen to an AM/FM station,” said Chia-Lin Simmons, v- p of marketing and content for Aha, who noted that when a user exits her vehicle, she can continue listening to the audiobook on her smart phone.

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Mobile Excellence Awards Announce 2012 Winners at Awards Gala

​The Mobile Excellence Awards (MEAs) honored industry leaders and rising stars at its annual gala, which took place on Wednesday, October 17, 2012 during a prestigious event in Marina Del Rey, CA at Digital Hollywood.

Industry influencers and luminaries gathered to honor and celebrate the finalist and winners that have truly set the bar of excellence in their respective fields. From leading brands to studios, carriers and start-ups, the 2012 Mobile Excellence Awards have become the preeminent organization and awards to follow when it comes to the best of the best in entertainment and mobile technology every year.

2012 Mobile Excellence Award Winner - Best Mobile Innovator, Aha by Harman.

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Aha Radio: Harman’s bridge between smartphone and in-car infotainment

​They say that cars now possess more computing power than the first space shuttles that made it through our atmosphere, meanwhile our smartphones have assimilated more functions than practically any other electronic device we’ve ever owned, so naturally a fusion of the two makes perfect sense and that’s what Aha Radio hopes to achieve.

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The car dashboard is not the place to let 1,000 apps bloom

​There is growing number of sophisticated connected car development platforms emerging in the auto industry, but so far automakers have been a reluctant to actually let developers at them. The reason is the overriding concern of safety. Unlike on a smartphone, an overly complicated or flashy app on the dashboard isn’t just merely a distraction; it could be the cause of a fatal accident.

Automakers are taking a risk, though, the panelists admitted. If they keep too tight a grip on the their infotainment systems, developers and consumers will just start looking elsewhere for connected car apps. “If that safe experience is so de-featured, [drivers] are just going to default to the smartphone,” Acker said.

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The connected car: How to design compelling apps without causing accidents

The average American spends more than two hours a day in the car. If you’re like me, you probably spend a good chunk of the remaining 22 hours each day interacting with computers, smartphones and tablets. Human nature being what it is, we don’t want to cut ourselves off from these useful — some might say addictive — communication, information and entertainment devices for the 15 or so hours we spend inside a car each week.

From working at XM Satellite Radio to leading Rhapsody’s music service and later launching the Internet-connected GPS device Dash, I have spent most of my career in pursuit of one goal: to deliver the connected information and entertainment content people want to their driver’s seat. In my my current role leading Aha by Harman, I believe the “connected car” industry’s biggest challenge is to provide the mobile apps and services that consumers want in a way that makes safety the top priority. To do that, we have to look beyond interface design and consider human behavior.

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Hands-on With HondaLink in the 2013 Accord

​Honda is jumping into the in-dash app race with the introduction of an updated HondaLink system for 2013 Accord by partnering with Harman's Aha Radio. And Honda hopes to leapfrog competitors like Toyota Entune and Ford Sync’s AppLink by not only outsourcing app integration but by also bringing in more content and making updates much easier and more frequent.

With HondaLink, NPR programming is on demand and drivers can skip backward to past programs on the fly. In this way, HondaLink is perfect for podcast junkies, since they don’t have to update their device to get fresh programs. According to Charles Koch, Honda’s manager of new business development, Aha can offer "thousands of podcasts because they’re cloud-based on the Aha server…

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HondaLink Infotainment System to Debut in Fit EV and 2013 Accord

​Honda has announced a new smartphone integration system that will debut in the 2013 Accord and 2013 Crosstour—and no, it has nothing to do with in-car Siri integration.

HondaLink is a cloud-based telematics system that uses a smartphone’s data connection to access streaming radio, podcasts, Facebook, Twitter, Yelp!, and other apps through a partnership with Aha Radio.The interface is completely customizable through a user’s smartphone, PC, or tablet, and it supports multiple users. Although this sort of integration isn’t necessarily new, it provides information in a new way.  

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Honda announces its HondaLink infotainment system, teams up with Aha Radio for the festivities

​We've known about Honda's plans to bring Aha Radio along for the ride and the tech has already gotten cozy in Subaru and Acura autos. The company has officially outted its plan to partner with Harman to bring web radio, podcasts and both Facebook and Twitter audio news feeds to the in-dash systems of 2013 vehicles. Unlike what we saw in the BRZ, though, HondaLink will arrive with its own smartphone app in tow for pre-selecting content before hopping in the driver's seat. 

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Honda Intros Sync-Like Radio; First OEM with Aha

​Aha will be included in Honda’s answer to the Ford Sync, in a “Connected” system that links to an iPhone or Android phone.

Users will receive Pandora, and have their text messages “read” aloud (and they may answer with select “canned” responses).  With Aha, users may have their Facebook and Twitter feeds read back to them and get Internet Radio in a way that is as easy to use as an AM/FM radio, claims Aha.

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Honda integrating Facebook, Yelp in new Accord and Crosstour

​Honda announced today a new connected service called HondaLink, which brings connected services such as Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, and Slacker into the car.

At this year's CES, Harman International's Aha announced a partnership with Honda. Today Honda hosted a conference showing how that partnership would play out with a new service called HondaLink. This new connected service will let drivers listen to a variety of Internet-based stations, featuring everything from Slacker radio to Yelp listings of nearby restaurants.

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