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Garmin K2 platform takes over the dashboardGPS manufacturer Garmin wants to be a one-stop car tech shop. We take an early look at how it plans to do it.
-What's up guys? This is Antuan Goodwin with CNET.com. I'm on the floor at CES 2013 in the Garmin booth with Keith [unk] of Garmin, and we're gonna take an extremely early first look at Garmin's idea for the dashboard of the future. This is the K2 infotainment platform, and it's basically Garmin's take on how they would handle the dashboard if they handle the whole thing. Now, before you get a little worried about Garmin doing dashboards, now, they have been doing airplane dashboards for years. So, they've got a pretty good idea of how the sort of interface design thing works. So, Keith, why don't we walk through exactly what we're working with here. -Sure, in the center console here, we have a 10.4-inch capacitive touch display. -Uh-huh. -and underneath that, we have a bank of buttons that allow you to jump between the different modes of the system as well as some preset button down below it. -Yeah, those are always really good when you're driving. -Yeah. -So, we've got navigation here. I'm assuming this is the really good Garmin navigation. Is there anything new that worth seeing from your turn by turn direction as is? -Yeah, let me go and start a route. We've situated the vehicle in Chicago, and in addition to having Garmin's normal navigation capabilities, we also have for the first time some very immersive 3D graphics. So, we're driving past Grant Park right now in downtown Chicago and you'll see was drive their out that we have realistic representations of buildings as well as landmarks. Now, we already know you guys do navigation well. You've been doing that for a long time. Let's talk about some of the other communications sync that you kind of have working in this new K2 system. -So, communication is a big part of the story. So, we have android phone that's tethered using a Garmin app and it's tethered over Bluetooth and it allows you to access any of the data or apps on the system and do so in a safe way. So, the types of things I'm gonna show you here are things you do while vehicle stopped. So, for example, you can pull off any contact information off of your phone. We had a little bit of fun with this and we pretended that this is Abraham Lincoln's phone and look the type of context that he would have on it. And so it's pulling this-- it's pulling the pictures as well as all the contact information from the phone. In addition, you can do text messaging from it. Again, this is all being enabled by the smartphone, talking I just sent the Abraham Lincoln's phone an e-mail and you see this is the type of pop up that would get when you are driving and you could hit play. -E-mail from Harry to Lincoln [unk] -And using text to speech, it would read you the e-mail that just came in. -So we have a-- what we refer to as a message center, which is can be customized for particular driver. So, you can select each one of these columns as what we refer to as a tool, and you're able to select different types of things that you wanna have access to easily from your car. So, for example, here, you're seeing calendar information from your smartphone, same thing with that e-mail in here as well. We've got-- You can select things like weather. Now, this giant 10-inch screen right here in the dashboard is just one of 2 screens you guys are showing off. That's part of this K2 infotainment platform. I noticing here behind the steering wheel, we've got a really large 12-inch screen that's integrated pretty well if I might add into the sort of bezel of the instrument cluster. -Yeah, like you said, this is a 12-inch display. Both of these displays are driven by the same processor -Uh-huh. -So it can drive both of all displaces in 1080p video and what this does is it gives you access to relevant information in kind of a summary fashion and you're able to see information related to each one of the modes of the system and control that with buttons on the steering wheel, and so right now obviously, it's showing what's playing on the media player. You can also toggle to get navigation information if we are actually routing to a destination that would be showing you what lane you should be in and what your next turn coming up is as well as seeing summary information related to connectivity. So, it's again pulling from the smartphone. -And then I'm also understanding that there is some really good voice technology you guys wanted to demonstrate as well. -Yeah, so, we think that the best solution is a hybrid voice recognition solution where you have some commands that are interpreted on board, but other things that are done off board. So, for example while you're driving you might ask the question such as: -How can I help you? -Where can I get a beer? Important questions in life. and it comes after it goes off board and interprets that question. -Let's see, beer, there is a place called [unk] just ahead on [unk] avenue. -And this is ready to go now. This is all set up and it could be installed maybe in a vehicle as soon as you guys gonna partner the ticket. -It's still a bit of a work in progress, but you can see that we've accomplished a lot in just a handful of months this past year. But yeah, we are ready to have discussions and already having discussions with OEMs and hope to have this in the vehicle some time in the near future. -Awesome. Well, this has been the Garmin K2 infotainment platform. You've been Keith from Garmin, and I'm Antuan Goodwin with CNET.com.