Kia brought its 2011 Sorrento to CES to show off its new UVO feature, which connects MP3 players and Bluetooth phones, enabling voice control over each. But Kia has a lot more tech on deck, which it brought to the show.
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Kia displayed a new haptic thumbwheel controller mounted to a steering wheel. On the default setting, the thumbwheel clicks into detents when turned. In a setup screen, you can choose from nine different haptic settings, including different detents, smooth scrolling, and a spring stop.
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The thumbwheel controls various onscreen menus. In this example it selects from different audio sources.
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Digital TV options for cars are going to become more prevalent in the near future, and Kia is exploring this technology for rear seat entertainment.
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Kia's UVO follows the feature-set already implemented in Ford Sync. This telematics display showed that Kia is still following in Ford's footsteps by offering a telematics service through a Bluetooth-connected phone. This photo shows POI information downloaded through a phone connection. The system would also include a 911 feature, contacting emergency services if it detects airbag deployment.
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Car Widgets - Community
This system uses the connected car to bring in user-customizable content from the Web. The Community feature shows Facebook, Linked In, Twitter, and Flickr. Because of driver distraction issues, we doubt this mode would be operational while driving.
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Car Widgets--Vehicle Relationship Management
The Car Widgets can also tap into vehicle information through the car's OBD-II port, gathering operating information and presenting it to the driver in a useful format.
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Kia is working with an antenna manufacturer on the Unity Antenna. This sharkfin-style antenna includes chips for AM/FM radio, 2G and 3G wireless data connections, and GPS. In total, it offers nine different band capabilities.