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Monday, March 31, 2014

GROM Audio Hosts Successful Silicon Valley Automotive Open Source Meet Up

Last week GROM Audio hosted the Silicon Valley Automotive Open Source Meet Up event with special guest speaker, QNX Senior Automotive Product Manager, Kerry Johnson. As first time hosts of the event, the GROM Audio corporate office was a full house of Meet Up group members dedicated to learning the latest about in-vehicle infotainment (IVI). Serving as a network to connect a variety backgrounds ranging from engineers to entrepreneurs, the over 65 attendees met to listen to Johnson speak about Qt, the latest cross-platform application framework for desktop, embedded and mobile i.e. even infotainment.

Event host, ICS Liaison, Peter Mui opened the event with a few words just after 7:15, before GROM founder Dmitry Borisov stepped in to thank guests for coming, while also introducing many attendees of GROM's aftermarket infotainment solutions.

GROM Audio Founder, Dimtry Borisov introduces guest speaker. 
Starting the discussion with a background of QNX software, Kerry Johnson discussed the importance of open source and sharing knowledge to help better technology.
"These Meet Ups help us come together and move forward,"Johnson said.

Qt, which was developed as an open source project, follows this idea, according to Johnson, who discussed that the framework can integrate with a wide variety of platforms including the most popular iOS, Android, OS X and Windows. Working well with other languages, widgets and interfaces, Qt integrates to create faster transitions, better 2D & 3D graphics and quick speech references.

"An infotainment system is the integration of a lot of things, there are all kinds of things that need to be brought together," Johnson continued.
Guest speaker, QNX Senior Automotive Product Manager, Kerry Johnson

According to the 25-year industry veteran, Qt can better in-car infotainment integration, but safety will be biggest challenge for car manufacturers to overcome. Safety certification is crucial in moving forward with connected cars and according to Johnson OEMs are creating the hold, while they wait for Google and Apple. But with Qt integration automakers do not have to lock into a specific OS like Android or iOS, although it is unclear if Apple's CarPlay will support Qt.

Although the feature of connected cars is still very vague, it is clear that consumer electronics will continue to blend with the auto industry, creating smarter cars, smarter drivers and one day driverless vehicles.

"I love to see things change, but the reality is it will take a while," Johnson said.

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