AT&T and Harman launch advanced connected car device
The Harman Spark, exclusively offered by AT&T, can reportedly turn any car into a state-of-the-art connected car, without the need to upgrade to a new vehicle to obtain the latest technology. To use the device, users can download the app from the App Store or Google Play, and plug Spark into the onboard diagnostics port (OBD II) beneath the steering wheel. The platform works with most 1996 models and newer. It provides the standard features plus in-app payments, on-demand roadside assistance, driving tips, and more. New features will get added automatically.
“With Harman Spark, just about any car can be transformed into an LTE connected car,” said Chris Penrose, President, Internet of Things Solutions, AT&T. “You get the most advanced connected services available on new cars plus some that you can’t get anywhere else.”
“Consumers today are looking for simple devices that make their lives efficient and seamless. Harman Spark allows them to easily and affordably transform older vehicles into smart cars of the future with connected applications,” added Sanjay Dhawan, Harman CTO and President, Harman Connected Services.
Harman collaborated with Tantalum, an automotive software company, to enable Harman Spark with a set of features, an ecosystem of services, and a payment platform. Features include emergency crash assistance; virtual mechanic; WatchIt, which lets users know if the car is bumped, towed, or moved and helps to locate it; roadside assistance manager; Wi-Fi hotspot for up to eight devices; Geofences for setting boundaries on a map and viewing location; family share/fleet manager; parking reservations; and driving score and tips.
Harman Spark will be available starting Sept. 28 at AT&T retail stores nationwide and online.