A lot of the big products at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas are focussed on bringing more technology to our cars, and an update to the popular Mercedes mbrace app has been very well received.
This is basically an iPhone app that has been developed by Mercedes-Benz and Hughes Telematics to give you a mixture of security and location services.
The basic features are pretty much as you would expect, and the same as those on the original version. You can lock and unlock your doors remotely and find your Mercedes if you have completely forgotten where you parked it.
The really revolutionary part about the newly updated app is the Concierge service which gives you a huge list of options for making the most out of it and for making your driving a lot more hassle free.
The kind of thing you can do with this service is find local eating places, check out the show time of the movie you want to see, get driving direction and receive live traffic updates.
There is also an interesting feature called Drive2Friend. With this you put in the mobile phone number of that hard to track down mate and the system will send them a text message. Provided they accept the request you will get back precise details to let you locate them. It is a standard text message which is sent to the friend you want to locate, so it doesn’t matter if they are a few phone models behind you.
You will be able to find the updated app in the App Store and you will need to be an existing mbrace member to use it. The going rate for that varies but here people are talking about $280 for 6 months as being the normal US price.
Is it worth it? Is this the way you imagine your connected car being controlled?