Automotive Advertising Agencies Should Attend the 2010 NADA Convention to Listen and Learn

Automotive advertising agencies have been forced to take on additional responsibilities in today’s troubled economy. As the President of national network of independent affiliated automotive advertising agencies and the host of an auto industry social networking resource portal I recently promoted the 2010 NADA Convention on my blog talk radio show as a real world venue similar to the online resources that I rely on to listen and learn and contribute to so I can presume to teach.

I consider the NADA convention as a must attend event for automotive advertising agencies, auto dealers, auto industry vendors and decision makers that regularly tune in to listen and learn from the auto industry experts regularly featured on various online resources. The NADA Convention is the real world version of online social networking communities focused on sharing best practices for the auto industry and a perfect platform to make new friends and connect with old ones in both the real and the virtual world.

The NADA Convention is a means to stay ahead of the competition by learning about the new Internet technologies and applications being introduced by the vendors and speakers that will be featured at the convention. The 2010 NADA Convention is being held in Orlando, Florida this February 12th. through February 15th., 2010 at the Orlando Convention Center. Additional information on the convention is available at their site — NADA.Org — and their online pre-registration savings of $50 -$75 has been extended to January 27th., 2010. I strongly advise anyone seeking to survive in today’s consolidating auto industry to register before the deadline to take advantage of the discount with the confidence that your investment of your time and money will provide a R.O.I. that can’t be duplicated by any online auto industry-centric venue; including my own.

My affiliated agencies are connected by a proprietary online communication/distribution system I developed in December of 2001. I designed the operating system that links this national network of independent businesses as a means to leverage the resources of the participating automotive advertising agencies, production partners and select vendors to allow them to compete with national automotive advertising agencies. The resulting savings in fixed and semi-variable expenses coupled with access to a wide variety of production and creative resources for the member agencies was made possible through their use of several online technologies that were developed to support the growing World Wide Web.

I reference this history as evidence that I have practiced what I now preach. These same technologies must be applied to the internal processes of auto dealerships to allow them to survive in a consolidating auto industry. The combination of the resulting efficiencies realized in technology enhanced selling systems in brick and mortar auto dealerships integrated with their online showrooms, and the newly developing applications being applied by automotive advertising agencies to promote their auto dealer clients on the Internet, is the key to profitability today and survival tomorrow.

The NADA Convention allows auto industry vendors to present new cutting edge applications to auto dealers and automotive advertising agencies who are anxious to gain an advantage over the competition. More importantly, in a consolidating auto industry auto dealers must sell more for less to satisfy budget conscious and better educated online car buyers and the technology being applied to sell vehicles on the Internet Super Highway is the way to do it in a scalable and cost effective manner!

The blog talk radio station featured on my portal is another example of how a new technology platform can enhance the reach and performance of an automotive advertising agency in today’s Internet driven marketplace. I use various blog talk radio shows as an online communication system for my network to share best practices and new vendor applications with site visitors surfing the web to get the inside story on the auto industry. In addition, my shows attract new vendors anxious to tell their story to the decision makers who follow me on the World Wide Web which allows me to review cutting edge automotive advertising applications before competing agencies know that they exist.

Several vendor clients of mine were discovered during their online reviews and most of them will be represented at the NADA Convention. Why? Because the NADA Convention is the perfect real world venue to launch new products and services and this year is no exception.

Automotive advertising agencies know that they must apply cutting edge automotive advertising technologies to their online marketing plans that integrate with proven selling processes in their auto dealer clients’ real and virtual world showrooms but they don’t know where to find them. Online automotive advertising focused social networking sites provide an excellent filter to find the newest and the best but the NADA Convention is the place to see them all in one place and one time in an environment where the decision makers from both the automotive advertising agency and the vendor can sit across the table and work out the best deal for both. After all, what are friends for!

HDMI 1.4 – Enhanced Features and Functionalities For Digital Connectivity

HDMI 1.4 is the new specification for HDMI, the acronym for High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI). Like previous versions of the specification, HDMI Licensing, LLC is the licensing body for this new specification version HDMI 1.4. An HDMI cable – that has implemented earlier versions of the specification – is used for high quality multimedia experience while connecting audio and video sources like HDTVs.

For further improvement in the multimedia experience, the new HDMI 1.4 specification implements several advancements in areas such as Network Capability, Resolution Improvement and Automotive Connection System. You can download the HDMI 1.4 specification from the HDMI Licensing, LLC. website.

Let’s take a look at the some of the changes, including advancements that HDMI 1.4 brings to your multimedia experience in the near future:

HDMI Ethernet Channel

HDMI 1.4 plans to append a data channel to the pre-existing HDMI cable. This ensures an increase in bi-directional communication speed. Moreover, this additional data channel would make the devices immediately ready for IP-based applications. Another significant advantage that HDMI Ethernet channel delivers is its capability to share an internet connection with any other HDMI device without the use of a separate cable.

Audio Return Channel

HDMI 1.4 provides a new Audio Return channel. This Audio Return Channel reduces the number of cables that are required and yet ensures that HDTV can send an audio stream to an Audio/Visual receiver through the HDMI cable.

Common Format and Resolution for 3D

If there is a problem in playing different 3D formats on a 3D home theatre system, this 1.4 version takes care of the problem by standardizing the I/O portion of your system. At the same time, the resolution is defined in such a way that your high-definition devices can play files having dual stream and that have resolutions up to 1080p. Thus, you get a common format and resolution for all 3D files that your HDMI-enabled devices can play.

Support for Higher Resolutions

A user can also play files with higher resolutions, up to 4k x 2k, using this specification. It enables every HDMI device to provide the required support, which will help in transmitting content at a resolution similar to the ones used in most digital theaters.

Reproduction of Accurate Colors for Digital Still Camera Images

HDMI 1.4 specification also supports color spaces. It allows HDMI enabled devices to reproduce accurate colors of images taken through a digital still camera on different applications including Adobe RGB, AdobeYCC601 and sYCC601.

Micro HDMI Connector: Smaller Size, More Features

The Micro HDMI Connector is not only smaller in size than the existing version – currently used in HDMI devices – but it also provides support for high resolutions (up to 1080p) that can play on most portable devices.

Automotive Connection System

Automobile manufacturers face problems in HD content distribution, mainly due to the presence of environment issues that include heat, noise and vibration. HDMI 1.4 has provided a solution to these problems in the form of an automotive connection system. This feature has been designed for high-quality in-vehicle HD-Content distribution.

Today’s Automotive Engineer – A Technology Guru With Connectivity Solutions

Technology gurus are hiding in a variety of places these days. Say, for instance, the automotive industry.

The automotive industry has produced some of the most advanced and user-friendly technologies publicly marketed in recent years. We can now not only operate our cars without keys, but we can also map our next trip, download information from our desktops onto a “carputer,” assess the state of the vehicle, watch movies, arm a security system inside and out and be alerted when others are in our blind spots.

Take, for instance, an entry-level map-based integrated navigation radio, which uses a flash-based secure digital card color map database to provide high-performance navigation. A single, state-of-the-art navigation kernel and map data compiler used in the European market help shorten Original Equipment (OE) innovation cycles, and a range of options allows for entertainment and ease-of-use features. Integrated into a single unit, a map navigation system can be used in parallel to the audio system.

Such a system can include AM/FM radio, navigation tools, playback mechanisms like compact discs and MP3s, and connectivity options for portable electronic devices. Of course, customers can add nearly anything a techy heart could desire, like a digital tuner, USB, touch-screen interface, voice recognition, steering wheel control and audio codec options.

And that’s just the basic model. Touch-screen navigation radios are full-featured audio and navigation systems in one unit, using onboard computers that interact with the Global Positioning System (GPS), vehicle sensors and a DVD-map database. Such personal travel assistants minimize travel time, make travel more convenient and increase peace of mind. Benefits include multiple functions in one compact unit, the ease of a touch screen, voice prompts, entertainment options, state-of-the-art navigation, the ability to remap locations if the driver misses a turn and intersection views for detailed maneuvering guidance.

Active safety systems, like active night vision, lane departure warning systems and infrared side (blind spot) alerts, are other excellent examples of automotive engineers’ ability to connect advanced technologies in a manner that makes the driving experience both safer and more enjoyable.

Active night vision uses near-infrared headlamps to illuminate the road scene ahead and displays an enhanced image in the vehicle. This system provides high-beam visibility without blinding oncoming traffic. Components of the active night vision system can be shared with other safety features, such as a lane departure warning system.

When lane departure warning systems utilize a camera, the camera can also be used for multiple features, such as active night vision, pedestrian recognition, rain sensing and intelligent headlight control. The lane departure warning system uses a monocular camera mounted behind the windshield to track lanes in front of the vehicle. Accompanying software estimates lane width and road curvature, and determines the vehicle’s heading and lateral position within the lane. When the driver strays from his or her own “dotted lines,” an audible, tactile or visual alert is issued. According to an automotive magazine, ninety-five percent of all vehicular accidents involve some degree of driver behavior — such as swerving. Systems like lane departure warning provide hope of reducing the approximately one hundred deaths that occur every day on American roadways, as reported by the Public Broadcasting Service in 1995.

Side (blind spot) alerts provide the same hope. These systems help drivers be aware of vehicles in side blind spots when changing lanes and making turns. Sensors integrated into mirrors, taillights and side fascia measure the adjacent lane temperature over time to detect if vehicles are entering the side blind spot. If detected, the system provides visual indications within the mirrors. If this proves ineffective and a turn signal is activated anyway, an audible alert follows. These warnings give drivers more time to react and, hopefully, help avoid the more than 200,000 lane change accidents that occur every year according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

It’s amazing how easily they hide those geniuses of technology. We never hear their names, see their faces, or even, in most cases, acknowledge they exist. Yet it is the knowledge, safety and connectivity solutions of automotive engineers that are helping save lives and helping make sure the rest of us don’t get hopelessly lost on the way to that next great adventure — at least not too often.