Cypress, Calif. – Clarion is bringing its aftermarket Smart Access head-unit technology to an automaker for the first time with the launch of Subaru’s second-generation Starlink infotainment system in all 2015 Subaru Legacy and Outback models.
Starlink uses uses Clarion’s Smart Access platform and was co-developed by Clarion and Subaru.
In select aftermarket head units from Clarion, Smart Access enables an in-dash touchscreen to control, and display the content and GUI of, select compatible apps that run on iPhones and Android phones. All apps are optimized for in-vehicle use, and most apps access cloud-based services. Those apps include navigation apps, Twitter, FaceBook, weather, news, Pandora, iHeart Radio, and others. The Smart Access heads also control and display a phone’s music library, contacts and calendar.
In the Starlink systems, the factory head units use the vehicle’s standard Bluetooth or USB interface to connect to an Apple or Android smartphone. The Starlink systems debut with the iHeartRadio streaming service and news and weather information services. The head units also display a connected phone’s calendar data. The connected smartphone must run the Subaru Starlink app to access these services.
Additional apps and services will be made available in the future without requiring vehicle software updates, Clarion said.