Technology in China is a whole other world. This applies to every tech category out there. China simply does things differently. While the rest of the world focuses on Android, iOS and other platforms for connected cars, Baidu has partnered up with BMW to bring a better alternative to the Chinese.
Both companies held an in-car Light App hackathon at BMW’s Experience Center. The idea was to create light, simple and helpful apps for the dashboard experience. There was enough demand, with 80 developers from 19 teams in attendance. All carrying demos ready for the BMW “ConnectedDrive” system.
“Before, developers found it hard to utilize the latest technologies in building in-car apps and it was hard for users to get the latest apps. Baidu’s Light App paradigm helps solve this problem as they are web apps that don’t need to be downloaded or updated and can provide developers with technologies like geo-fencing, voice recognition, subscription and push, and camera activation. Most importantly, users can find a Light App through mobile search. LightApp is an ideal platform to connect people with services.”
After over 30 hours of coding, five winning teams took the first, second and third places. The winner got 30,000 Yuan for creating a navigation system that uses Baidu’s streetview API. Instead of showing boring maps, the application can take advantage of streetview images to create a life-like experience in the dashboard.
As you can see, the battle between Silicon Valley and China is not as one-sided as one would imagine. China has innovative developers and enough support to make its own products and services. After all, it’s a market car makers, internet companies and developers simply can’t say no to!
Some images of the event and winning developers can be found right below, jsut in case you want to see how developers work in China!
Want to learn more about the BMW i3?
The car you see on the top of this page is a BMW i3, a car that is not to be ignored. BMW’s engineering marvel is amazing, and our friends at Ausfahrt.tv have gone ahead and given it a very good review. Check it out if you are interested in learning more about it.