Video: Saab IQon system

Christopher McKinnon was kind enough to give me a walk-through of the Saab IQon system today at the Geneva Motor Show.

There’s no working system in a car here in Geneva (there are some being tested in Trollhattan at the moment, as you’ll hear) but Chris was able to use the video posted yesterday to give a brief explanation as to how the system will work.

It might pay to watch the official IQon video first…..

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8BOd9oX1p4s

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And here’s Chris to help explain what all that will mean for Saab owners in the very near future…..

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HL5R5YPtvbc

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Jacob
Guest
Jacob
5 years 6 months ago
Woohoo! Integrated SPOTIFY!!! That’s like a dream coming true. This new 9-3 will be really competitive with this screen/IQonsystem as standard. No more โ‚ฌ3.000,= slow and bad to update SatNav-systems that you either way have to buy because otherwise you’ll get a mediocre dashlayout, but straightfoward integration. Combined with the promises of Jason Castriota in another movie (3 9-3 models are finished, including a hatchback and a convertible – he wants to get two more models in production + front end of PhoeniX car will be carried over, rest of the car will be more traditional Saab) creates some real… Read more »
till72
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till72
5 years 6 months ago

Sounds really promising!

simon
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simon
5 years 6 months ago

Glad to see they went the way I was proposing. This is gonna be pretty cool I think….

Peter, Sweden
Guest
Peter, Sweden
5 years 6 months ago
On the positive side the Iqon-system is just awesome and surely will offer loads of cool solutions to problems we didn’t even knew we had ๐Ÿ™‚ On the negative side though I for one will miss the tactile feel of things. Today I can control for instance the radio, the AC and the seat heaters without having to look away from the road because I both know and I can feel where all the buttons are. But if anyone can make something good of this new tech it has to be Saab, so I’m quite sure the positive things will… Read more »
Michael
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Michael
5 years 6 months ago
Big touchscreen like iPad’s is good for showing telemetry, navigating through maps or music collection, communicationg with manufacturer and dealers, but it’s awful for things like A/C controls or sound volume, for all the things you should be able to do without looking on the screen or buttons at all. That is crucial. You don’t want to stop for changing A/C settings because you cannot do it without looking on the screen. I’d like to remind you, that going 150 – 160 km per hour (100mph) is pretty usual, this is more than 40 meters per second and if you… Read more »
Seb C
Guest
Seb C
5 years 6 months ago
Very good points Michael, easily accessed climate control and radio buttons are a MUST. Perhaps the radio buttons on the steering wheel are sufficient (the simple ones on my ’99 9-3 work well), but the ACC (A/C, defrost setting, temp, etc.) needs to be readily accessible, either via redundant buttons on the dash or by having very large ACC icons taking up the whole touch screen while driving (for example, I think having an ACC button on the steering wheel that brings up the dedicated ACC page on the touchscreen could work). I hope the ergonomics of these implementations get… Read more »
maanders
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maanders
5 years 6 months ago

Yes. A flexible system for many of these features (especially settings and diagnostics, configuring car features, etc.) is wonderful and very welcome. I would hope, though, that for key systems like climate control, etc., there would still be physical controls. The last thing I would want is to be without such controls for a few days to a week if something happens to the touch screen or the IQon system has a bug that cannot be fixed within one day.

Ingvar
Guest
Ingvar
5 years 6 months ago

To Michael, Seb C, maanders and others above.
Very good points you have, who want to sit there and a bug has stopped everything! But I think C said, that the communicaton with the car, must be restricted when driving. Good ideas anyway. Looking forward to see the outcome!

BaRa
Guest
BaRa
5 years 6 months ago

My brother develops cockpit screens for a living (at Barco Avionics). The problems you describe also exist in plane and helicopter cockpits: screen glare in a dark environment, functions you have to access very fast… And guess what: it’s not an issue in planes as long as you use decent screens.

bk-aero
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bk-aero
5 years 6 months ago

Two words: Voice control. =)

gunteman
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gunteman
5 years 6 months ago
Good points! I think it’s great that Saab’s doing this. -It creates positive buzz -It is the way of the future. Other manufacturers will also do this eventually, but Saab is taking the lead -In-car infotainment systems should be upgradable and preferably have an open API. Otherwise they get outdated fast. On the other hand… -Saab launched the HUD in the 9-5 specifically to allow the driver to stay focused on the road. This (seems to) be a step in the opposite direction -Touch screen interfaces in general and swipe interfaces in particular begs for a screen that is almost… Read more »
gunteman
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gunteman
5 years 6 months ago
Michael
Guest
Michael
5 years 6 months ago
Big touchscreen like iPad’s is good for showing telemetry, navigating through maps or music collection, communicationg with manufacturer and dealers, but it’s awful for things like A/C controls or sound volume, for all the things you should be able to do without looking on the screen or buttons at all. That is crucial. You don’t want to stop for changing A/C settings because you cannot do it without looking on the screen. I’d like to remind you, that going 150 – 160 km per hour (100mph) is pretty usual, this is more than 40 meters per second and if you… Read more »
marvin
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marvin
5 years 6 months ago

assume!

Spotify in the car…. and when I am tired of music I open the Sveriges Radio app and listen to a radio show from last week.. Endless possibilities!

marvin
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marvin
5 years 6 months ago

“awesome” might have been the word I was aiming for… ๐Ÿ™‚

Thylmuc
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Thylmuc
5 years 6 months ago

Here’s still having problems with a built-in device. Can its hardware be upgraded, like with an external device that is replaced after 2-3 years? What about OS support? Will there be Saab fanatics that pick up the ball that Saab might drop after a couple of years? What about screen resolution that needs to be specifically supported by each app (have a look at the Android version of Navigon)?

Interfacing with the car _could_ be done via USB, I think

turbokalle
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turbokalle
5 years 6 months ago

If the drivers seat is fully tiltable (?) I might actually concider living in my NG 93 (900?)

Loma
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Loma
5 years 6 months ago

Would also prefer to maintain the A/C through hardware buttons, but Hifi, Satnav (live updates!) and the other goodies through an Android system sounds perfect to me.
The downside of using the Android OS versus iOS is ofcourse

benrp
Guest
5 years 6 months ago

Looks great. I assume it would be fully compatible with all smart phones (apple, WP7 and android)?

Loma
Guest
Loma
5 years 6 months ago

Would also prefer to maintain the A/C through hardware buttons, but Hifi, Satnav (live updates!) and the other goodies through an Android system sounds perfect to me.
The downside of using the Android OS versus iOS is ofcourse this.

Thylmuc
Guest
Thylmuc
5 years 6 months ago
Having decided to go with a built-in device instead of interfacing with an external one; look around at whats available. Closed source Windows Mobile, highly unsuccessful and in its new “7” incarnation immature and lacking apps, and RIM’s blackberry that is still lacking a good touchscreen surface and will not spur any independent developers (at least for ssome time). All others not readily suitable for automotive applications. So, there was not pretty much of an option besides Android for a company that needs to modify the OS by incorpating a new API; something Apple does not allow and is not… Read more »
Doctor Donk
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Doctor Donk
5 years 6 months ago

Do not block any features to driver while car is going. that is stupid. i hate that i can not operate with the screen (some nav functions) while i drive on my current 9-5, Driver can decide himself if he should or should not do it. It is especially annoying when you have passager and he can not operate with navigation as well.

maanders
Guest
maanders
5 years 6 months ago

While I agree with you in theory, Doctor, I see too many people now trying to do things with their smartphones while driving that they should not do to remain safe drivers. If the car encourages that behavior, that is more unsafe drivers on the road. Now if they get good voice control and allow that while driving, then I am OK with that.

Pierre
Guest
5 years 6 months ago

Any worries about the iQon name? There is apparently an Irish company with that name–even the same spelling. It is in bankruptcy, so perhaps it won’t be an issue.

Scott
Guest
Scott
5 years 6 months ago

Saab already owns the trademark to IQon (note both the I and the Q are capitalized–many have been writing it as iQon) in the USA as of October 22, 2010: http://tess2.uspto.gov/bin/showfield?f=doc&state=4006:6e2isa.2.1

Ted Y
Guest
5 years 6 months ago

Good thing IQ industries abandoned this trademark in 2001.

WooDz
Guest
WooDz
5 years 6 months ago
I’m really into to tech; have been since the age of 9. I love si-fi and as a DJ I don’t even use CD players or vinyl. There are some worrying issues with in integrated mobile device in a car mainly to do with distraction. The problem is if certain apps are disabled like facebook but SMS messages are allowed my thinking is, what’s the difference? I use FB and email with my smartphone quite a lot for communication as sending a via SMS costs money. Will my calendar appointments be ‘pushed’ to the calendar on IQon? Finally what about… Read more »
maanders
Guest
maanders
5 years 6 months ago

+1!

Hopefully the testing they are doing with these now that was mentioned in the video will help them find the right balance between touchscreen functions and physical button functions. I have always found Saab controls good in this respect (different shapes, etc., to help you feel the control without having to look at it), so I expect them to consider these points.

WooDz
Guest
WooDz
5 years 6 months ago

Sorry for the appalling typos, I only hope you understood my point.

rodmylon
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rodmylon
5 years 6 months ago

It’s spelled “IQon”, not “iQon”!! (The “IQ” of the car is “on”) It’s no Apple device (luckily).
Otherwise great video! I like where Saab is going. =)

hughw
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hughw
5 years 6 months ago

I may have missed it, but has there been any suggestion of when IQon will be available and in which vehicles? For instance will it be available in model year 2012 9-5SC’s this fall?

rodmylon
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rodmylon
5 years 6 months ago

As I understand it, and as McKinnon says in the video, it will be ready in the fall of 2012 – for the new 9-3. It will most probably be launched with it and then gradually implemented in the 9-5 and 9-4X.

I wonder if Saab could sell this to others after that as well, like the eXWD and the phoenix platform. Saab is on fire =)

Frank
Guest
Frank
5 years 6 months ago

All very cool, hip, trendy etc.. but not very ‘aircraft inspired’ ..
I’d rather see more stuff like this in a Saab:

BaRa
Guest
BaRa
5 years 6 months ago

You are joking right? This is just bad interface design with which aircraft screen designer get away because of the technical nature of it – and because of the cost it takes to develop a decent looking interface for such a small series of screens.

Trollblazer
Guest
Trollblazer
5 years 6 months ago

I don’t know about all this ‘spielerij’; how reliable will it be? will it still be working 20 years later? I think I’d like this better: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V7-n5r0DWw8

maanders
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maanders
5 years 6 months ago

Interesting question. For those that keep their Saabs 10-20 years, what will happen with the IQon hardware and system over that period of time?

Frank
Guest
Frank
5 years 6 months ago

The displays of all touchscreen phones I had failed after a while; very unreliable.. A car has to last way longer than a phone, so…., better have real buttons, like on the the old Nokia E90; never seen a more solid and durable smartphone; not cool or trendy, but very professional and long lasting, like Saabs are supposed to be too…

Eagle63
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Eagle63
5 years 6 months ago

Yeah, E90 was the best..:
with ‘real’ buttons to activate the major functions…

coxy900
Guest
coxy900
5 years 6 months ago

Just imaging your ‘live’ sat-nav.

“Ice expected in 30 miles….”
“Accident ahead….”
“Moose!” (sorry)

Tgx4776
Guest
Tgx4776
5 years 6 months ago

ahh yes nice to see my idea had some merit.

There should be a number of large static buttons just below this with shortcuts to things like climate control, nav, music, and each screen should have no more then 3 large dials so that it is easy to use.

Eagle63
Guest
Eagle63
5 years 6 months ago

Exactly! and there should also be a ‘hard button’ to show the technical stuff, maybe a simpler version of something like this:
I’m sure most serious Saab drivers would rather have this showing on their display than looking at icons of Facebook or Twitter….

Ted Y
Guest
5 years 6 months ago

Horsepower by subscription interesting. Via voice recognition would be nice. Let’s say a Bimmer is bugging me, and I say “Computer! Thirty horsepower — subscribe —now!”

Ted Y
Guest
5 years 6 months ago

Opps, I meant โ€œIQon! Thirty more horsepower โ€” subscribe โ€”now!โ€

coxy900
Guest
coxy900
5 years 6 months ago

You mean:
“IQon Thirty more horsepower! Make it so!”

BaRa
Guest
BaRa
5 years 6 months ago

LOL! That would indeed be cool ๐Ÿ˜‰

hughw
Guest
hughw
5 years 6 months ago

Yes, a Hirsch app!!

maanders
Guest
maanders
5 years 6 months ago

Hmm…does the ECU need to reboot? ๐Ÿ™‚

“Why are we slowing down?”

“Just wait…..I updated the ECU…”

Ted Y
Guest
5 years 6 months ago

Rebooting ECU may not be needed. They could have multiple maps stored in the ECU at the factory, with a pointer to the default map. Then, subscribing is simply a matter of changing the pointer on the fly. Course, I can see a lot of hackers making it their life’s mission to get access to that pointer. ๐Ÿ™‚

WooDz
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WooDz
5 years 6 months ago

Good use of IQon.. I need to get to the Frankfurt Auto show fast… Hirsch app for 24hrs please.

RS
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RS
5 years 6 months ago

Now that we’re in the middle of nitpicking future system settings, please give us at least half degrees on the ACC!

Jรถrgen Trued - SUHRT
Guest
Jรถrgen Trued - SUHRT
5 years 6 months ago

Interesting that Saab gets this “new” technology. I worked with GPS / TMC based systems 15 years ago with ovloV and Swedish DOT. Funny to hear some of the ideas in the YouTube clip with Chris, I presented that stuff last millenium to McDonalds, Statoil etc. and risk-capitalist here in Sweden, but we where out there way before the market had matured. We built prototypes with map software with information “live” on a color screen in the vehicles.

Michael
Guest
Michael
5 years 6 months ago
If they will balance the physical and infotainment touchscreen in a good way, that system has some really great possibilities, in fact, Saab implements lots of what i’ve been asking for a year or so ago in comments on SU, so I like it very much. I love the possibility to make applications using more than 40 sensors, telemetry, direct communication with manufacturer, etc. It also seems you’ll be able to choose navigation system from existing ones, like TomTom. Also imagine Saab-to-Saab communication ๐Ÿ˜‰ Like seeing all nearby Saabs on the map (GPS+3G or WiFi) preparing to do the Saab… Read more »
saabdroid
Guest
saabdroid
5 years 6 months ago
Hi! Short intro first – I’ve been a lurker for a good while, having learnt to drive in my dad’s 99GL when I was way too young, then convincing him to get a 900 turbo in time for my driving licence ๐Ÿ˜€ He now has a 9-5, while I have had to take an Ovlov-offer which was to good to refuse ๐Ÿ™ Anyhow, first I just want to send my thanks to Swade for this site! It is a fantastic place for everything Saab, and the walk-around with Jason C. earlier saved the day for me – I started out… Read more »
Ying
Guest
Ying
5 years 6 months ago

I found it really fully he’s using an iPad demostrating a Android based system.

Another piece food for the thought – security, if you sync you various cloud computing accounts with your car and your get gets stolen or car jacked. How do you lock out any sensitive information – your home address etc from the criminals?

Scott
Guest
Scott
5 years 6 months ago

Excellent question, which leads to another excellent potential feature: ability to remotely disable, lock/unlock, locate your Saab, etc. from a smartphone or secure website

coxy900
Guest
coxy900
5 years 6 months ago

That might need a permantent internet connection. But imaging the situation if the car was nicked! “Hello Saab, here’s my registration and PIN number..”

Car stops.
Lights flash.
Siren goes off.
Doors lock…

gunteman
Guest
gunteman
5 years 6 months ago

Camera takes a picture of the thief
Changes the profile picture on the thief’s Facebook page
Changes the Facebook status to “Trying to steal a Saab. FAIL!”

coxy900
Guest
coxy900
5 years 6 months ago

Perhaps the user information could be linked to a programmed keyless fob. One per person for each car.

As well as opening and starting the car. They could identify programmed seat/mirror positions, preferred driving settings. But if the driver needs to access personal/cloud information, IQon would prompt for a PIN/password before access is allowed. A bit like an iPod/iPhone/iPad will stop and prompt once you need access to the App Store or iTunes.

PatrikH
Guest
PatrikH
5 years 6 months ago

Regarding Virus Control in Android, I would talk to a company in Stockholm called SE 46 http://www.se46.com/. They have a good solution to avoid virus infection, that is to control all apps allowed to be started, only those apps with a valid certificate can be allowed to start, therefore a virus will not get a chance.

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