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Google channeling ‘Knight Rider’ to make in-car smartphone use safer

Posted On 2014 Jun 04
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A new hands-free feature for smartphone operations could be unveiled by Google later this month. ©l i g h t p o e t / shutterstock.com

A new hands-free feature for smartphone operations could be unveiled by Google later this month. ©l i g h t p o e t / shutterstock.com

(Relaxnews) – Project KITT is the codename that the company has given a new feature that eliminates the need to touch or even look at a smartphone when behind the wheel.

Instead of glancing down and touching the screen to pull up a map or take a call, all you’ll have to do is raise your voice and the phone will respond. And not only will it spring into action, it will also actively talk you through everything it’s doing.

According to Android Police, the feature is Google’s answer to Apple’s Siri Eyes Free system and could be unveiled this month at the Google I/O conference. And because it is something developed by the world’s biggest search engine, it is focused as much around safe web searches as it is around messaging.

So, to make sure a driver stays focused on the road ahead, even when desperate to know the name of the last Frenchman to win the French Open for example, just ask the phone and the phone will respond “Yannick Noah in 1983” – there’s no need to look at the list of results on the phone’s screen.

Likewise, according to Android Police’s sources, this reassuring voice will talk the user through each step of a process, from sending a text message to reading out a response.

To use the feature, all the driver would need is the Google Now contextual search app, for the phone to be connected to the car’s 12V socket and a Bluetooth headset or Bluetooth in-car speaker.

Apple already offers a similar feature on the iPhone called Siri Eyes Free, which enables users to activate their handset and some of its apps via voice command only. However, a dedicated button fitted to a car dashboard is required in order to access the feature. First demonstrated in 2012, it has since been updated to something called Apple Car Play.

Announced at this year’s Geneva motor show, it enables an iPhone’s screen to be mirrored to a car’s dashboard-mounted display so that telephone, messaging, navigation and music can be accessed safely while driving.

Google is also working on a similar system, called Android in the Car, but is yet to demonstrate it to the public.

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