SEAT will be the first automotive brand in the world to integrate Shazam into its infotainment system. How is it that no other manufacturer considered integrating one of the most popular music-finding apps into their systems? Actually, take away its music genre, Shazam is generally one of the most popular apps in the world.
What is Shazam?
If you’re currently unfamiliar with what Shazam is or what it does, there is bound to be someone around you who does. Shazam has hundreds of millions of users that magically connect with the world around them through the app because of music. Developed in Britain, the app can identify media; music, movies, advertising, and television shows, based on a short clip. It ‘listens’ through the microphone and with an internet connection will search either the internet or its own database in seconds to get you the title.
Many automakers have collaborated with tech companies in order to offer unique features that have been integrated into their infotainment systems. However, the President of SEAT, Luca de Meo, announced the world’s first Shazam/car collaboration at the Mobile World Congress. The integration is said to become operative as of April 2018 and can be used through the SEAT DriveApp for Android Auto. (Note there is no Apple CarPlay alternative that has been offered as yet.)
Accordingly, the collab displays how SEAT is taking a further step in its goal of providing an experience that is increasingly simple and personalized. “For all music lovers, being able to identify songs is going to be at their fingertips,” de Meo said. This also comes in efforts of enhancing safety so drivers needn’t reach for their mobile phones.
Which is, actually, the exact reason why Shazam is being integrated.
The idea bubble
Someone at SEAT was driving along and listening to the radio one day when they heard a song they liked. They began fumbling around for their phone in order to ‘Shazam’ it. They went through the process of having to unlock the phone, find and open the app, all the while driving, and ended up missing the tune. Upon discussing this with others at the office Fabian Simmer, SEAT Digital Officer, thought it would be impossible that nobody else had previously thought about integrating Shazam into a car. They then decided to get in touch with Shazam.
Simmer was wrong because no other company approached Shazam before. Shazam even revealed to SEAT that it was surprising considering that 70-80% of Shazam’s were being done at 30 km/h. Seemingly, the Shazam service is predominantly used within a car, though this can be done by passengers or one-handed drivers.
Simmer and his team of developers then sat down with the connected car team. They conceptualized what Shazam would look like in a SEAT car. Two months later they then presented to Shazam. Much of SEAT’s testing was to ensure it works well but mainly that the service is as distraction-free as possible.
Leyre Olavarria, Head of Connected Car at SEAT, said, “We then add our own requirements on top. We do tests with measurements, how long it takes you to make an action. We also know where you are looking and how long you are distracted from the road. It is a priority for us, everything we bring to the car has to be done in a safe way.”
He went on to say the SEAT has a tech cycle of four years. But in the mobile phone industry, they have development cycles of six months to one year. Now the complication comes in of merging the two worlds effectively. “At the moment, when we offer a Shazam solution or an Alexa solution we try and find gateways to get in the car. But this will be heavily improved next year when the new generation of infotainment systems comes.”
Simmer said if you imagine the car to be like a smartphone on four wheels, where you can update it and upgrade it, then almost everything will be possible.