German automaker BMW wants to bring casual gaming into its vehicles beginning next year, after announcing a partnership with AirConsole. The games are powered using the vehicle's entertainment system, with passengers able to use their smartphones as controls.
People excited will have to keep in mind that AirConsole specializes in casual games, so you're not going to be able to magically boot up Call of Duty while riding in the car. To connect a smartphone to the entertainment system, interested players will scan a QR code that pops up on the screen.
As said by Stephan Durach, SVP of the BMW Group Connected Company Development: "With AirConsole we will leverage innovative technologies combined with a broad variety of fun and multiplayer games. This will make every waiting situation inside the vehicle, such as charging, an enjoyable moment."
The program begins with the BMW 7 series sedan, which also has a 31-inch theater screen for rear-seat entertainment. If some casual gaming doesn't pique your interest, there is a built-in Amazon Fire TV - and additional support is expected sometime in the future.
Here is what Anthony Cliquot, CEO of N-Dream, the company responsible for AirConsole, said in a press statement: "We are extremely proud to spearhead gaming inside vehicles with BMW and are excited to create new games for in-car entertainment. Our ingenious architecture coupled with the ease of access of our platform will change the way people get entertained in their vehicles."
The functionality of modern infotainment systems in newer cars continues to evolve into major selling points for possible car buyers. Drivers and passengers want to be able to connect to the system and be able to stream music, hands-free phone calls, and text messages, and other services currently available - and automakers are keen to expand connected functionality in the future.