The MeeGo mobile-oriented operating system - born out of a coupling
of Intel's Moblin and Nokia's Maemo Linux-based platforms - just got an interesting, and somewhat unexpected, boost: it's been picked to power in-car entertainment systems for some big names.
Although originally developed for smartphones - in the case of Maemo - and netbooks - in the case of Moblin - MeeGo is a pretty flexible Linux-based operating system, and according to The Linux Foundation
it's this flexibility which has tempted the GENIVI Alliance into choosing it as the basis for its In-Vehicle Infotainment - yes, that's really what it's called - reference release.
The GENIVI Alliance is made up of some pretty big names - including Intel - but it's the presence of the BMW Group in their ranks that is likely to gain the most interest: positioning itself as a luxury brand, it's obvious that BMW is hoping to implement MeeGo technology into its future cars in order to differentiate itself and offer something pretty unique.
Although the initial device - the GENIVI Apollo - is stated to be a reference design, it's likely to be rapidly adopted by the group's founder members. With navigation, entertainment, and connectivity to external devices - including linking with smartphones, Bluetooth hands-free functionality, and even mobile broadband - the MeeGo-based Apollo sounds pretty tempting already.
GENIVI Alliance president Graham Smethurst claims that the group "selected MeeGo as the open source basis for our platform because it is technically innovative and can provide the cross architecture build support we require for our reference[ designs.]
Sadly for those waiting for in-car 'infotainment' devices based around the GENIVI Apollo, the group has yet to hint as to when the reference design might be ready.
Do you think that the future of in-car entertainment is clever Linux-based boxes that offer a variety of features, or are you happy with a CD player that also reads MP3s? Is there any killer functionality you'd like to see in Apollo? Share your thoughts over in the forums