February 10th, 2005

Ringtones – in your car?

I’m not making this up. I was speaking to a company yesterday that broadly falls into the category of telematics service provider.

Ever left the keys in your car? Left the lights on? Turned on your turn signal? Seems as though those beeping sounds – which I think are actually meant to be annoying (that’s the point) are too mundane.

Automotive manufacturers want to give consumers the ability to personalize their cars like consumers do their phones. The MB/Swatch “skins” project didn’t really work out – that one they’ve tried. Now, the automotive OEM’s have caught on to the buzz of ringtones and downloads.

Imagine leaving your keys in the ignition now and hearing the “Boss” shout at you via one of your favorite Springsteen songs from the 70’s or the latest in hiphop. If you can replace a beeping sound in your car with a song, why not a recorded voice “Honey, you forgot your keys.”

Where does it stop? In the future, will I be able to download a tune to my microwave? That’s an annoying beep.

I imagine that this type of a service will happen and it will be very attractive to those who are now teenagers and accustomed to this level of personalization.

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