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July 15, 2010

Terminal Mode shown off by Nokia and Volkswagen (video)


SAN FRANCISCO, USA – The third annual MobileBeat conference took place in San Francisco this week and Nokia was there showing off some cool innovations with Terminal Mode. Jörg Brakensiek, a principal member of research staff at Nokia’s Palo Alto research centre, was presenting from Nokia along with some folks from Volkswagen. Read on after the jump to find out more.

Despite it’s very functional name, Terminal Mode promises a wealth of possibilities for users and application developers. As Jorg highlighted during his MobileBeat presentation, there are three core philosophies behind Terminal Mode. Removing barriers for users is the first, to enable you to run your chosen smartphone applications in your car, with your car’s built in interface (think steering controls, touch screen etc). Essentially, what you see on your device’s screen, you can see on your car’s larger screen.

Secondly, Terminal Mode is “a catalyst for new services”. With core device functions covered off, such as navigation, music, phone, weather, social media etc, connecting the device to the car opens up a wealth of new opportunities for developers to create new multi-platform applications. The difference being, that the platform actually stays the same (in this instance, the device is the platform) but the usage can be on device or in the car. The weather widget in the video gets this across perfectly along with, of course, Ovi Maps navigation.

Terminal Mode is also an industry standard open for all. As Jorg said this week, it isn’t meant to be a Nokia standard or a Volkswagen standard, it’s been developed in collaboration between CE4A and Nokia “with joint understanding that the resulting specification is open to everybody”. The standard has already been endorsed by a number of tier-1 manufacturers and Nokia has already started discussions with a number of other handset vendors as well. The standard itself is build on standard protocols, using an IP connection between the device and the car’s infotainment system. It also runs IP-based protocols such as VNC, UPnP, BlueTooth and RTP (Realtime Transport Protocol).

Rafe over at AllAboutSymbian takes a much closer look at Terminal Mode, tracking the progress of Terminal Mode and shining a light on how things might pan out.

But back to MobileBeat, and the video showing off how Terminal Mode works. Check it out below and let us know what you think in the comments below that.