Hands-free Vehicular Calling

MobileCOM, a mobile data system for first responders developed by Tiburon, allows first responders to receive dispatch, state and national database queries, and location mapping data, from their vehicles, hands free, reports Urgent.com.

“Users don’t have to take their eyes off the road for license plate lookups,” said Del Pullen, product manager with Tiburon.

MobileCOM, is part of a suite of products that complement Tiburon’s CAD system. When used with GPS technology, police officers and other emergency personnel can locate the emergency call on a map in the vehicle and then use MobileCOM to determine the shortest route to the destination.

The system also eliminates the need to enter specific address information during routine traffic stops.

Voice-to-text and text-to-voice translation is also supported and can perform tasks similar to Onstar’s consumer vehicle safety system, such as locking and unlocking doors.

MobileCOM doesn’t incorporate any special voice-recognition software, just an off-the-shelf Microsoft solution, but is able to filter out background noises such as sirens using array mikes from Andre Electronics.

Tiburon landed a $30 million contract from the Houston Police Department to deploy a records-management system that will replace a 25-year-old mainframe-based system. Looking ahead, the company is developing Connect, which is based on the National Information Exchange Model (NIEM) — a federal, state and tribal interagency initiative launched four years ago under the aegis of the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security — for seamless information exchange via XML. Connect is expected to be generally available in the first quarter of 2010.

CNET News reporter Daniel Terdiman demonstrates how Audi Q7 SUV integrates with Bluetooth mobile phones like the iPhone. He is road testing the Q7 as part of Road Trip 2009.

Controlling multi-media in cars (phones, stereo, heating/AC, navigation, etc), requires an intuitive user interface, often with voice recognition.

Those include Audi’s Multi Media Interface, Ford’s Synch, the Mercedes Command system, and BMW’s iDrive. C/Net likes the Mercedes Command APS system the best. The speech technology engine used in by Mercedes is provided by Nuance Communications.

Microphone arrays, used in devices like the Voice Tracker from Acoustic Magic may be the key to practical voice recognition in vehicles, since they help filter out background noise. Microsoft’s Windows Vista has built-in support for microphone arrays.

MIT’s 1024 microphone array can steer the beam in a crowded room and track individual speakers.

Posted by Sam Churchill on .

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