On board for Toyota Touch Life

Touch Life can mirror a smartphone display on the dashboard of a car.
Touch Life can mirror a smartphone display on the dashboard of a car.

THE soon-to-be-seen Toyota Touch Life system can mirror a smartphone display on to the dashboard of the car.

Your smartphone could soon be coming to your car - and it will arrive larger than any handheld screen.

Toyota has developed an onboard app that mirrors your smart phone's display on to the colour screen in the dash.

Toyota Touch Life can link with smartphones such as the Nokia N9 and Apple iPhone, potentially bringing internet connectivity, satellite-navigation, social media interactivity, weather forecasts, breaking news, video and music functionality and even digital speedometers to the dashboard of the car.

It could provide on-the-go access to social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

The smartphone can then be controlled from buttons on the steering wheel or the car's central touchscreen.

According to a Toyota press release: "Toyota Touch Life uses the latest industry connectivity protocols to mirror the smartphone's display on the infotainment system's 7-inch touchscreen ... Offering consumers with unprecedented smartphone-vehicle connectivity."

The Toyota Touch Life uses new MirrorLink technology developed as part of a consortium including other car makers and electronics companies.

The car makers include Volkswagen, Hyundai, General Motors, Honda, Daimler (Mercedes-Benz) and PSA (Peugeot and Citroen).

The electronics companies include Samsung, Sony, LG, Nokia, HTC, Panasonic, Garmin and Motorola.

The Touch Life system would also presumably have the capability to use other functions of the smartphone - such as cameras - to broaden the motoring experience and potentially provide additional safety features, such as a reversing camera.

No doubt the mirroring of phone displays within the car's onboard display will have law makers scrambling to work out how to tackle the issue of driver distractions.

Allowing owners to interact with their phones also appears a strange move from Toyota, which currently bans drivers from entering destinations into the satellite-navigation while the car is moving.

Toyota was also recently forced to defend new technology that allowed owners to text on the move, claiming "the user has to be responsible for their action".

Part of the Touch Life functionality includes "giving users complete access to their music and video collections".

The Toyota Touch Life system will initially be offered on the European-only iQ micro car but will eventually be rolled out across the range.

It is not known when the system will be available in Australia.

Topics:  iphone smartphone technology toyota

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