Mercedes-Benz and Pandora have teamed up to launch an accessory called the Media Interface Plus that lets you stream Pandora music from your smartphone out to the car’s stereo system. All you have to do is plug the MIP into the extension into an outlet in the car, and pair up your phone via Bluetooth. BlackBerry and iPhone versions of the Pandora are mentioned as being compatible, but “any other consumer electronics devices supporting Bluetooth audio streaming” should work. That sounds like very little functionality for $298, especially when you can get a 3.5mm tape deck converter for, what, ten bucks? Failing that, there are always FM transmitters that are just as good. However, the MIP also lets you stream video out to the in-car display when the vehicle is not in motion. That might be a clincher for folks who just have to be able to watch movies in their car for some reason.
Sure, it’ not like we haven’t seen anything similar from Ford, Chevrolet or BMW, but it’s interesting to see Mercedes-Benz getting into the car/smartphone integration arena.I’m looking forward to see which other developers provide support for this particular accessory, but I think Ford Sync has a better shot at winning over programmers with their environment first.
Head over here for more info on the new Media Interface Plus from Mercedes-Benz, including vehicle and handheld compatibility.
[via PR Newswire]