Apple's steering-wheel-mounted remote control designEnlarge Photo
About a month ago we found a patent by Apple for an in-car remote control system. At the time, we weren't completely sure what that patent was for, assuming it had to do with music. It still might, but today Apple announced that it is integrating its voice-command service called Siri with the hands-free button on some automakers' steering wheels.
During the keynote at Apple's World Wide Developers Conference, it was announced that a new hands-free solution called Eyes Free will be launched with auto manufactures over the next 12 months. The solution will integrate the hands-free hardware button on the steering wheel of many new cars to activate Siri on Apple's iPhone and iPad.
Apple also announced nine automakers are already on board to help launch Eyes Free over the next twelve months, including: BMW, GM, Mercedes-Benz, Land Rover, Jaguar, Audi, Toyota, Honda, and Chrysler. Notably absent from the list are Ford and Hyundai/Kia. Those automakers are currently using infotainment systems with Microsoft technology as the back end.
Think about this level of smartphone integration and tell us if you think this is the wave of the future in the comments below.