Putting my cynicism to one side, I am aware that Intel was trying to demonstrate the ability of a WiMAX connection in the auto environment, but there were aspect of the demonstration that still didn’t ring true. For one, the UMPC was connected to the Internet via WiMAX and then connected to the car via Wi-Fi so that the car could make use of said WiMAX connection. But I can’t help but wonder why the car couldn’t just have the WiMAX connection built into it, thus negating the need to carry the ugly (I know, beauty is only skin deep) UMPC.
In fact, the idea of the car having a WiMAX connection to the Internet would also fall into line with Intel’s idea of storing all your user data and applications in a central online location. With this kind of model, you’d have access to all your contacts, all your music and even all your video direct from your car. While also being able to search for the nearest Starbucks!
Don’t get me wrong. I may think that the way Intel went about this demonstration was misguided, and quite frankly odd, but the underlying concept is a good one. With WiMAX set to appear in an expansion card form imminently, and be embedded into notebooks in 2008, the idea of having high-speed, wide area Internet access embedded into your car isn’t that far fetched.
The concept of a connected car brings with it lots of advantages as long as car manufacturers don’t try to implement too much impromptu tinkering via your vehicle’s online link. Let’s face it, the last thing you want on a cold and frosty morning is for your car not to start because it had downloaded a duff firmware update overnight!