OnStar users, look out—Twitter is about to become a part of your experience. How so? Well, being an owner of a couple of Cadillacs with OnStar built-in, we sometimes receive surveys or phone calls asking us how we are liking things. Nothing out of the ordinary. However, in today’s survey, I found a portion that was particularly interesting:
“While in your vehicle, you can use OnStar to submit and retrieve tweets (messages) via your Twitter account. Using OnStar’s Voice-Activated Hands-Free Calling system, and having your voice converted into text, you can provide updates which would appear in the “What are you doing?” section of your Twitter homepage. It is also possible to listen to a tweet that was sent to you by someone else after it has been converted into voice. You can send and receive tweets without having to type or read anything.”
Did you get that? Voice to text conversion using your in-car hands-free system so that you can both post to Twitter, and hear what is going on with your friends. Kind of crazy when you first think about it, but after a few minutes, you can start to imagine some cool uses. You can voice-tweet something like “I’m headed to downtown Seattle, where can I find the best slice of pizza?” You can then listen for responses, and when you hear one, have OnStar direct you to that location. Or you can just, you know, mess around on Twitter while driving without trying to juggle your iPhone and the steering wheel.
No word on when exactly the service will go live. Oh, and you can follow Gear Live on Twitter.
By 2009, if they are done dealing with the UAW, GM will be equipping its new vehicles with a system that will aid police to remotely stop high-speed chases. In cooperation with OnStar, who can already track devices and help cops find stolen vehicles, it will also issue a signal that remotely slows the car down to idle speed. OnStar is free initially for owners of GM automobiles that have them built in, but must pay for the service beginning with the second year. OnStar says that about 60% continue to subscribe after that first year. In light of the price of new vehicles and fuel, we are not surprised that many decide to opt out and spend the extra on gas.
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