With Apple eyeing the car dashboard, formerly monopolized by AM/FM and a bit of satellite, the audio game is getting more interesting -- particularly for fans of choice and control. Add to this the continued rise in simple aftermarket aux-in or Bluetooth tethering of smartphones to traditional dashboards, and it's easy to see we're about to go through the digital looking glass. Things that only tuned in a few stations using knobs and buttons just a few years ago now deliver content from exotic lands by voice command and even speak back to you! Curiouser and curiouser.
As tempting as it is to laud the dimensional superiority of digital, methinks the workhorse in the connected car will continue to be audio. Rather than looking at this as a failure to move forward, I view it as preserving a strength -- and building upon it. Think of getting a picture from home when you're gone and missing family. Nice. Now think of getting a call and hearing a loved one's voice. Cue lump in throat. Audio's impact is undeniable, and audio publishers old and new would be wise to continue to leverage that emotional resonance of sound as much as ever before, while also augmenting it with visuals, video, interactivity and so forth.