An iPhone app that lets you control your Mercedes Benz. An iPhone app that lets you control your Mercedes Benz. An iPhone app ... I mean, what more do you need to know? It's damn cool enough by itself isn't it?
Mercedes Benz has released an innovative iPhone app before, but it was actually somewhat boring, being mainly designed to let Mercedes owners with finance plans better manage their accounts. But now Mercedes has teamed up with Hughes Telematics to integrate all sorts of snappy automated systems in its new line. The system is dubbed mbrace, and it'll also integrate with BlackBerry phones, which should please many a high-powered business person—you can even retrofit it to existing cars that have the Tele Aid option.
What'll it let you do? Navigation, of course. But also remote door locking, vehicle finding, dealer connect, stolen vehicle location, automatic alarm notification, roadside assistance calling, and automatic collision notification (a potentially worrying one—presumably it'll let you know if your partner has pranged your lovely Merc). If that's not enough, there are premium extras that give you location-based weather and traffic info, and a concierge service that lets you book hotels, find stores, make restaurant reservations and so on.
These are mainly upgrades you can already add to your vehicle through a number of third-party applications and hardware bolt-ons. But the exciting thing is that Mercedes has realized the power of the smartphone, and sees how it will integrate totally into our lives in the future. And though this is clearly a luxury system for those with deep pockets at the moment, it's a clear sign of how we'll be interacting with our vehicles in the future. Plus, the designers have been watching one too many James Bond movies.