More than 50 years ago, Audiovox, which is now owned by Voxx International, got into the car audio business. Since then, it has expanded its vision of affordable car electronics products into the areas of rear-seat entertainment, security, connectivity and other consumer products. According to Tom Malone, president of Audiovox Electronics Corporation, the company see the automobile as an opportunity to engage with devices, a platform for new technology, and a way to deliver content, as well as ensure safety and convenience.
In an exclusive interview with TMC (News - Alert), Malone stated that Audiovox’s biggest asset was its distribution structure and logistics, and that its leadership goal is to continue innovating with new products and new categories. Bringing that vision to life, according to Malone, takes focus. Diversifying is all well and good, but it runs the risk of stretching a company too thin, and not putting people in place to become category experts. Audiovox creates teams that are in charge of certain categories, so they can get a vision, execute that vision and become true experts in the category or discipline. This helps Audiovox achieve its stated value proposition, which is to bring affordable, high-quality products with well thought out features to the masses, supporting an outstanding user experience.
Recently, Audiovox partnered with Sprint (News - Alert) to bring embedded M2M solutions to two new technological initiatives: Car Connection and Care Connection. Car Connection is a project that consists of a device that plugs into the onboard diagnostic system of a vehicle and connects to a portal that manages vehicle data and solutions. Car owners can learn the location of the vehicle, set geofences for teen or older drivers, or track a stolen vehicle. They can also pull out vehicle health data, getting a score and green, yellow or red codes for different systems. Insurance providers can use the solution for driver scores and usage-based insurance. Plus, the solution can put vehicle information right on a user’s smartphone letting customers access remote start and door-locking features. The solution can also disable cell-phone use, locking texting for teen drivers.
The Care Connection solution consists of wearable devices that can be used to monitor children or the elderly. These devices allow for two-way connection to caregivers, so they are connected person-to-person rather than through a service. This solution can relieve a great deal of stress for caregivers of small children or senior citizens.
Audiovox teamed up with Sprint because it saw that the Sprint management team saw value in what Audiovox had to offer in the consumer space with both Car Connection and Care Connection products. Spring knew that if Audiovox did its job properly, these solutions would be very valuable to customers, so the two companies worked closely together to make this happen. Spring gave support for the program, acted as a carrier for the products, and gave technical support on development and assisted in research about takeaway from the products. Audiovox saw Sprint as creative thinkers, not afraid to go in new directions, a spirit shared by both companies.
As for the future, Malone says that Audiovox will continue to work in the connected space, on location-based services and making sure connected hardware is easy to use in an ecosystem where these technologies talk to each other. And this will help fulfill that 50-year-old goal of providing quality products at affordable prices, and pave the way for 50 more successful years and more.
To find out more about SPRINT, visit the company at ITEXPO West 2012. To be held Oct. 2-5 at the Austin Convention Center in Austin, TX, ITEXPO (News - Alert) is the world’s largest technology and communications event. Visit SPRINT in booth #1119. For more information on ITEXPO West 2012, click here.
Edited by Allison Boccamazzo