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JVC Mobile To Launch MirrorLink Head Unit

Long Beach, Calif. – JVC Mobile will ship its first
MirrorLink-compatible in-dash head unit in late August and will work with
Samsung to promote the product’s compatibility with Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S
III smartphone.

JVC’s double-DIN
KS-NSX1 A/V receiver, which features 6.1-inch touchscreen, is priced at a
tentative everyday $599, making it the company’s top-end A/V receiver, said
Chad Vogelsong, JVC Mobile’s marketing GM. JVC will expand its selection of
MirrorLink-enabled head units next year, he added.

 JVC’s KS-NSX1 will join a pair of
MirrorLink-enabled A/V receivers introduced by Sony at International CES.

In launching the
4G Galaxy S III, Samsung Telecommunications America is executing its largest
promotion campaign ever for a phone. The S III, which is being marketed by six
carriers, is seen by analysts as a strong rival to Apple’s iPhone.

MirrorLink is the industry-standardized
technology that enables aftermarket and OEM head units to control the functions
and apps of MirrorLink-compatible smartphones, mirror the phones’ user
interface on an in-dash touchscreen, and stream content from the phone and from
Internet-connected phone apps. With MirrorLink, consumers use the head unit’s
touchscreen to control smartphone apps and functions in the same way that they
use the smartphone’s touchscreen to control apps and functions.

MirrorLink was
developed to enable interoperability between OEM and aftermarket car
infotainment systems and smartphones made by different manufacturers and
running different operating systems, according to the

Car Connectivity Consortium

. The
group provides guidelines, certification and interoperability testing to
suppliers to foster the development of MirrorLink products, the group said.

When JVC’s
MirrorLink-compatible head unit hits the market, it will connect to compatible
phones based on Nokia’s Symbian operating system as well as to Samsung’s S III.
In both cases, the phones must run a MirrorLink app available from their
respective smartphone suppliers, said Vogelsong. Samsung’s app for the S III,
called Samsung Car Mode, is still under development. Vogelsong wasn’t certain
whether other Samsung smartphones could be upgraded to add MirrorLink. A
Samsung spokesperson was unavailable.

Research In Motion
(RIM) has also said it plans to offer MirrorLink.

JVC has teamed up
with Samsung to promote S III connectivity with the JVC radio, Vogelsong said, but
promotion specifics haven’t been finalized. On its own, however, JVC will build
a micro site to educate consumers about the new head unit and its MirrorLink
capabilities, he said.

Those capabilities
are enabled by Samsung and Nokia MirrorLink apps that control three sets of
smartphone options, Vogelsong said. One set of music-related options enables
head units to select smartphone-stored music, display album art, and in the
case of the S III, possibly control music-streaming apps. The second set of
location-based options includes control of Google Maps for turn-by-turn
navigation, accessing Google Street View, and choosing other Google location

The third set
controls phone use, including control of voice-calling functions and display of
phone contacts. All of the app’s features aren’t known yet because Samsung is
still developing the app, Vogelsong noted.

Because the
KS-NSX1 is JVC’s first-generation MirrorLink product, installers will have to
install an outboard MirrorLink interface box that measures 6.5 by 1.3 by 4.3
inches. The box features MicroUSB connector to connect to the S III and Symbian
smartphones and RGB video output so send the smartphone’s GUI to the head unit.
The box also features its own power and ground connections. The
interface box is included in the head unit’s price.

An optional
dash-mount GPS antenna will also be available to improve GPS reception beyond
the capabilities of the attached smartphone’s GPS chip.

Besides offering
MirrorLink, the new JVC head unit features DVD playback, detachable face,
iPhone-compatible USB port, and App Link mode to control 12 compatible iPhone
apps, including a navigation app, and display the apps’ UI on the head unit’s

The head unit
joins a series of JVC A/V receivers that currently top out at $549 everyday for
a model with 7-inch screen but no MirrorLink.