Intel Shows Off HTML 5-Powered Infotainment Concept

Intel wants to make your car HTML 5-compatible. The chip-maker is here at Mobile World Congress 2013 showing off a host of new technologies, and one of the most impressive is its HTML 5-powered telematics system concept. Based on the open-source Tizen IVI OS, Intel's solution, which we demoed at the company's booth, could go a long way in creating a single OS for automakers' infotainment systems, saving in-car app developers from having to rewrite their apps for different manufacturers' OS.

Currently, Intel's system is at the proof-of-concept stage, meaning it's still quite a long way from being implemented in any vehicles, though the company did say it is already talking to major automakers. During our hands-on with the system, Intel demoed its various capabilities, including its ability to interact with a vehicle's critical systems.

According to Intel, some in the auto industry have been wary of using HTML 5 in a vehicle due to issues with lag. To ease those fears, Intel connected a small computer running the infotainment system to a touch-screen display and arcade-style video game steering wheel. 

Tapping the touch screen elicited an immediate response from the system, allowing us to access Google Maps for navigation and change songs stored on the system's hard drive or a smartphone. The operating system will even be capable of outputting real-time information coming directly from your vehicle, including tired pressure and engine temperature to the display.

One of the OS's more impressive features was its ability to turn two onscreen tires using the demo unit's faux steering wheel. Equally impressive was a gear selector situated next to the steering wheel that, when pulled, automatically displayed the gear our fake car was in on screen.

Beyond being able to read user inputs, the Tizen IVI OS will also enable vehicle manufacturers to provide users with a host of in-car apps without forcing developers to create special versions of their apps for different vehicle makers. Although the system is still in its early stages, what we saw appears to be a good start. Hopefully we'll see something similar to it in vehicles sooner rather than later.

Daniel P. Howley
LAPTOP Senior Writer
A newspaper man at heart, Dan Howley wrote for Greater Media Newspapers before joining He also served as a news editor with ALM Media’s Law Technology News, and he holds a B.A. in English from The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey.