European Carmakers Grab Nokia’s HERE Mapping Unit

What Happened
After months of speculation, Nokia finally confirmed this week that it has agreed to sell its HERE mapping unit to a group of European automobile makers, Audi, BMW, and Daimler AG, parent company of Mercedes, reportedly for $3.07 billion.

What Brands Should Do
With the rise of connected cars and consumer interests, automakers are starting to realize the increasing importance of owning their navigation and mapping data. Nokia’s HERE mapping unit provides a reliable alternative to the mapping services developed by silicon valley companies like Google Maps. It is crucial for those in the automobile industry to continue building out their software and corresponding platforms through partnerships and acquisitions, so as not to become dependent on a third-party service.


Source: TechCrunch

New BMW 7 Series Debuts Gesture Control

What Happened
BMW has added in-car gesture control to its new 2016 BMW 7 Series. Enabled by 3D sensors installed on the car ceiling above the center console, the new feature will track hand motions to enable convenient shortcuts for changing the volume, taking phone calls, and other simple in-car commands, all without drivers taking their eyes off the road.

What Brands Should Do
With this new feature, BMW is embracing motion-sensing gesture control, a new advanced interface for its in-car systems that are currently dominated by touch screens and voice control. For brands, especially those exploring connected cars and home automation, figuring out the right interface that provides the most user-friendly experiences while enhancing driver safety should be a top priority.
Source: Bloomberg

New Security Concerns Arise As Cars Get Connected

 Read original story on: BBC News

Cars, especially the fancy high-end ones, have always been target of thefts, and security measures have been constantly updated with the advance of technology. Lately, however, new types of security concerns has risen for car owners as new models of connected cars begin to infiltrate the market.

BMW has just patched a security flaw that reportedly left 2.2 million cars, including Rolls Royce and Mini models, open to hackers. The flaw affected models fitted with BMW’s ConnectedDrive software, which uses an on-board Sim card to operate door locks, air conditioning and traffic updates through internet and Bluetooth connectivity.

BMW Partners With Medium On A Sponsored Collection

Medium is partnering up with auto-maker BMW to bring a collection of 100 sponsored posts to Re:form, a design-focused blog nested under the renowned blogging platform. As Medium’s first attempt at generating revenue since its creation in 2012 by Twitter’s former CEO Evan Williams, this sponsorship also offers a new spin on native advertising. Instead of populating the elegantly designed site with BMW advertorials, for now** the partnership simply manifests as two bold and strategically placed “Presented by BMW” logos on each page, with absolutely no other advertising in sight. And rather than measuring impressions and pageviews, Medium will guarantee BMW a total reading time metric measured in minutes.

Such a novel, minimalist approach allows BMW to attach its brand of excellent German engineering to the great reading experience of the flawlessly designed site in the least intrusive way possible, as it utilizing Medium’s celebrated reputation of smart design and high-caliber contributors to elevate BWM’s brand in the design industry. Any brand could slap their logo on a given website and call it a sponsorship, but only when the feel of the sponsored content is aligned with the brand image would such method work effectively and effortlessly.

Native advertising is currently on the rise, but as customers become more familiarized with and therefore, desensitized to branded content, its magic will inevitably start diminishing. Trying out new approaches like this is certainly one way to prevent such diminishing effect from occurring too soon, especially in a market as innovative and capricious as digital advertising.

** Some branded posts on BMW is reportedly in the works according to AdAge, It’d be interesting to see how they perform compared to other posts in the sponsored collection.

BMW Now Supports Amazon Cloud Player

If you own a BMW or a Mini, you’ll now be able to use the Amazon Cloud Player for iOS. The service provides the ability to import existing music files onto mobile devices, and car owners with BMW Apps – or the ‘Mini Connected’ – can now access these files through the car’s dashboard. It’s a step forward in the connected car trend, one that allows users to access the cloud from directly within their car interfaces. Whether it will drive more users to Amazon Cloud Player is another question entirely, but what’s sure is that further personalized, cloud integration into vehicles is coming soon. 

Major Brands Embrace Shared Economy

From Kickstarter to Etsy, there are an increasing number of shared services that make up the collaborative economy. This trend is so pervasive that Web Strategists Jeremiah Owyang makes the claim for all business need to pay attention or they may fall by the wayside.  In fact, Owyang proceeds to list a number of major brands to get involved in the space, and we’re not talking about makeshift popups. From BMW’s Drive car sharing service to Patagonia’s marketplace of used goods, this list may surprise you.