Stats show young professionals are putting in longer and longer hours at the office, which means any way to help organize and streamline our lives is more than welcome. Being always on the move and heavily weighed down with work is exactly why Intelligent Mechatronic Systems has developed the “Infotainment” iLane device for your car that connects to your smartphone via bluetooth and reads your emails and texts aloud to you while you drive. Useful, no?
The iLane platform is entirely voice controlled, which means that by uttering commands like “Browse” or “Next Message,” you can scroll between emails and have them read to you without ever having to take your hands off the wheel. The iLane is convenient because it constantly talks to you as well as listens, letting you know all the available voice commands at your disposal depending on the menu you’re in. You can interrupt it with new commands while it’s talking, including calling your boss or colleagues, and if you want it to stop talking entirely you can switch it to “Do Not Disturb” mode.
In addition to reading your emails and text messages to you, and alerting you when new ones arrive, the iLane can also voice your calendar, browse your apps, and allow you to send voice-replies that attach to messages as MP3s. The overall concept does sound useful considering Ontario’s ban on phoning and texting while driving remains in full effect. The iLane platform seems to offer a safe and legal way for professionals to remain productive while being stuck in traffic.
There have, of course, been complaints that the $149 retail price and monthly fees accompanying the iLane aren’t worth the well-known difficulties and frustrations associated with using voice-controlled technology. But time will always add continual improvements, the most beneficial of which would be a speech-to-text function. In a world demanding ever-increasing efficiency, running all of your tools through a central hub is a concept worth noting.
Recently, an app was released for both the iPhone and iPad that controls all compatible electronics in customized “Apple-controlled” homes. With Apple TV also on the market (allowing you to stream content from your computer to your flat-screen), inter-connectivity and efficiency seem to be gaining importance in all facets of life, and companies are capitalizing on it – which is definitely nothing to complain about.