Covisint demos Google Glass, personal profiles for cars

Data connectivity and security provider Covisint demonstrated how it could transfer personal preferences between cars.

Wayne Cunningham Managing Editor / Roadshow
Wayne Cunningham reviews cars and writes about automotive technology for CNET's Roadshow. Prior to the automotive beat, he covered spyware, Web building technologies, and computer hardware. He began covering technology and the Web in 1994 as an editor of The Net magazine.
Wayne Cunningham
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Covisint's service lets Hyundai support Google Glass over its BlueLink telematics system. Wayne Cunningham/CNET

As automakers add more infotainment features, owners end up compiling a multitude of personal preferences in their vehicles, covering everything from favorite destinations to streaming music services to contact lists. But what happens when you buy a new car?

Covisint, a provider of back-end secure data services, demonstrated a new concept in personal profiles for cars at the 2014 Detroit auto show.

In the demonstration, an owner could log into a Web site run by Covisint and populate a virtual garage with any cars she owns. She could upload her contact list from a smartphone and program in any other preferences or settings, such as social media log-ins.

The preferences on that Web site would then be made available to a smartphone app, other devices such as Google Glass, and the cars themselves. The owner of the car could also approve other drivers for the vehicles, each with their own profiles.

Covisint demonstrated how its service would require authentication for each device, not just a username and password but in some cases, such as with a smartphone, a PIN. Additionally, when an owner unregisters a car, the service would delete the profile, including any personal information stored in the car.

One highlight of Covisint's concept service is that it can work across multiple devices. The company used Google Glass as a techie hook for the service, showing how it will integrate with the 2015 Hyundai Genesis. Covisint notes that Hyundai's BlueLink system, which it runs, will let Genesis owners access point-of-interest searches, vehicle health reports, and roadside assistance through Google Glass.

To make this service really useful, Covisint Director Timothy Evavold said the company was working with multiple automakers, urging them to adopt profiles in a standard format. Standardization would let owners of vehicles from different brands easily transfer their preferences.

Covisint's demonstration included a virtual garage where owners could save vehicle preferences, and send them to their actual cars. Wayne Cunningham/CNET