BMW and Microsoft Bring Skype to Select BMW Vehicles
If you work in the corporate world, then chances are that you have rushed through traffic to make it to a meeting on time at one point or another. Wouldn’t it have been great if you could have held the meeting right in your car instead?
That’s the idea that both Microsoft and BMW had, which is why BMW recently announced that Skype for Business will be available in BMW vehicles equipped with iDrive technology, starting with the BMW 5 Series.
Before things get too out of hand, Microsoft and BMW wanted drivers to know that the Skype functions available while driving would not include the regular video conference features. Instead, BMW drivers will be able to activate the systems’ hands-free phone conference services.
Furthermore, the Skype for Business integration is far more robust than regular hands-free technology. Drivers will be alerted to upcoming meetings and reschedulings, and they will even be able to edit calendars, contacts, and e-mails using a voice recognition system.
BMW’s adoption of the Skype for Business system will be a first for video conferencing services. Neither Amazon’s Chime nor Google’s Hangouts are currently available in any vehicles.
“With BMW Connected we offer a wide range of digital services designed to help users with their daily mobility needs inside and outside of the car,” said Dieter May, BMW senior vice president of Digital Products and Services. “We seek to continuously extend and enhance the customer experience with regard to all aspects of their mobility. The integration of productivity features in-car (like Exchange and Skype for Business) and personalized and contextual services will help customers with their day-to-day work and planning while they are on the road.”
The service is currently slated to be offered in the U.K, France, and Germany, expanding to other markets shortly after. Perhaps workaholics around the world will soon be able to conduct business without ever leaving the driver’s seat.