SmartDeviceLink (SDL) is mobile-auto interaction technology which was originally devised by Ford (as an evolution of Applink) but is currently being developed under the auspices of the GENIVI alliance. This is a very interesting technology in the mobile-auto interaction space and we decided to check it out in Carmesh.
While details relating to the technology itself are somewhat in flux and the subject of the discussions within the GENIVI alliance, the basic ideas are reasonably clear. Essentially, SDL comprises of a set of standardized messages which can enable the car and the mobile to exchange state and control information. For example, it’s possible for the mobile to display specific text or images on the car dashboard, control audio playout on the car’s sound system and receive notifications when buttons on the steering wheel are pressed; in future, it should be possible to send specific Points Of Interest from the phone to the car’s navigation system amongst other things.
Yesterday I had an opportunity to present Carmesh implementation work and project vision on Connected Car to valuable technical audience at Google Developers Group in Dublin. I also had a chance to listen to two presentations and engage further discussions.
Google Developers Groups are worldwide communities which are interested in technologies provided by Google and ways to leverage them, but in most cases are not Google workers (Googlers). It was my first presentation to such large audience from industry and I find it very valuable.
Part of Zylia’s contribution to Carmesh has focused on Ford Applink recently; Zylia is very interested in how advanced services will be realized in the automotive context and Applink is an important part of this landscape.
Last month Ford released the beta version of AppLink emulator, which can emulate the in-car interface part of Applink, enabling mobile apps to interfere with the car. The emulator provides output (via the emulated screen) and input (via emulated buttons) and offers the same interface to these as would the car. The Carmesh team was very keen to explore what is possible with this exciting new framework.
The objective of our initial work was to understand how the communication works, the I/O capabilities of Applink and how and Android application can access these functions.