Swiftkey, the London start-up that provides an alternative keyboard for mobile devices running on Google's Android platform, is set to start building the software behind its mobile app into cars.
The Southwark-based firm, which has been selected to appear on Tech City UK’s programme for fast growing start-ups and was backed with £11.3 million in funding last September, announced today that it is partnering with in-car entertainment manufacturer Clarion on their AX1 Android-powered touchscreen car stereo system, which is designed to be built into car dashboards.
SwiftKey said it will be providing the default keyboard across the whole AX1 device, which means that its software will underpin multiple interactions, from passengers typing directions to choosing which songs to play.
The internet-connected AX1 sets out to provide drivers and passengers with a web browser and 1080p video playback via a 6.5 inch capacitive multi-touch display.
The AX1 is currently available in Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia and India, with rollouts planned for countries in South Africa, the Middle East, the rest of South East Asia and the CIS.
Lst October, the start-up issued an update that unified its software across phones and tablets through a single version (SwiftKey 4.3) that can support multiple form factor scenarios and typing styles. The update could be seen as SwiftKey making its product increasingly flexible so that it can be applied to as many devices as possible.
SwiftKey co-founder and CTO Dr Ben Medlock said: “We believe ‘connected car’ technology will be a growing trend throughout 2014 and is set to reach the mainstream. Partnering with a cutting-edge company such as Clarion demonstrates our real interest in this exciting sector and signals our ambition to become known as a leading platform for innovative, personalized technology.”