BimmerTech BMW Upgrades
Wednesday, 23 November 2016 10:50

Is Your BMW Connected Yet?

Automotive technology has come of age. Of course, building advanced features into our vehicles is nothing new. Nor is being captivated by what might come next. Whether it's the freeways of Bel Geddes' Futurama or the impressive array of features KITT showed over four seasons of Knight Rider, cars have a way of capturing our imagination like nothing else can.

Bel Geddes Knight Rider
photos: https://www.fastcodesign.com/ and http://www.influx.co.uk/

But something's changed.

When BMW says it will produce an autonomous iNext electric car within five years, it's not hope talking. It's expectation. Reality. These aren't utopian dreams any more. They're not neat ideas from sci-fi films we'll spend the next 50 years inching closer towards. This is what we can actually do; BMW is just one of many manufacturers who already offer intelligent cruise control and park assist in a range of production models, the first step towards fully self-driving vehicles.

 

iNext BMW concept car
photo: https://www.press.bmwgroup.com/

Automated driving may be the technology that's making the headlines, but there have been many more advances in recent years aimed at improving our in-car experience.

Powered by smartphones

Not so long ago, the only connectivity offered by the typical car's center console was a radio, in one form or another. The development of console command systems like the iDrive, however, is changing the way we think about being in our cars. Whether for entertainment, navigation or vehicle feature control, computers have now established a place for themselves on our dashboards.

For many, though, this computer is actually their smartphone, in a cradle mounted on the dash. And why not? It's not an elegant solution, but it gets all the apps we love into our cars, which in-built console computers often can't match. It's no surprise, then, that increased integration between mobile devices and in-car computers is a top priority.

BMWCarPlay
photo: http://www.mindlessmagazine.com/

Apple's CarPlay and Google's Android Auto are two emerging standards that look like revolutionizing what we do behind the wheel. Both will allow us to connect our phones to the head unit in our cars, and use familiar mobile functions and apps. Protocols like AirPlay and Miracast mean wireless streaming and mirroring is also possible for many mobile devices, to replicate the smartphone or tablet screen on the dashboard display in real time.

This is the infrastructure that already lets us combine the power of our smartphones (not to mention their vast app ecosystems) with the convenience of an in-built head unit. As these standards develop, our cars' multimedia capabilities will only increase.

A safer tomorrow

Smartphone integration isn't the only way our cars are becoming more connected, though. Voice recognition, automatic door unlocking and over-the-air software updates are already a reality for many car owners. The capabilities of our cars won't stop there, though.

Harman pupil dilation concept
photo: http://www.digitaltrends.com/

Several brands used CES 2016 to show off the latest automotive tech. Harman made a splash by revealing a system that can measure a driver's tiredness by monitoring pupil dilation, before communicating with the vehicle's other safety features to adapt to the driver's state. Smart cars are about more than just convenience—safety is a key consideration, too.

Meanwhile, BMW presented an i8 without mirrors. Instead, four cameras installed on the vehicle displayed an image on an LCD screen hanging where a standard rearview mirror would. The rationale, again, was safety; this system gave a clearer view of what was around and behind the car, whilst eliminating blind spots.

i8 mirrorless concept
photo: http://money.cnn.com/

Toyota, on the other hand, looked beyond the car itself. It outlined a plan to improve mapping data by collecting information from the cameras and GPS devices in the cars we drive every day. This data will then be used to ensure that their vehicles have an up-to-date picture of the street layout, so automated driving and navigation should be more reliable. Toyota hopes that this 'crowd-sourcing' method will prove more efficient than depending on dedicated mapping vehicles.

As once-rare features like backup cameras and park distance control have since become mainstream, expect to see these advanced options available in more cars in future.

Capability is king

When it comes to automotive technology, the focus was once on performance. The sheer joy of driving. But now, multimedia capabilities and safety features are just as important for many motorists. This will no doubt be a key area for innovation in the coming years.

And how do you feel about it? Do you long for the simpler times when cars were all about the mechanics? Or are you excited about the prospect of driving increasingly intelligent vehicles? Let us know in the comments.

Friday, 20 November 2015 14:23

Halloween at BimmerTech

Recently, we asked you to have a little spooky fun with us by submitting pics of your BMWs with a pumpkin in exchange for discounts on our Rear View Camera and SiriusXM Satellite Radio. In return, we received a hair-raising number of outstanding photos demonstrating not only your pumpkin carving skills but your creativity in designing a photo even without a pumpkin! Special congratulations to Bill from Connecticut, whose winning submission earned him a little something extra. Check out his photo, presented first, and other spooktacular submissions in our Halloween photo gallery and…thanks for such a terrorific response!

 

BimmerTech Halloween 1

 

BimmerTech Halloween 2

 

BimmerTech Halloween 3

 

BimmerTech Halloween 4

 

BimmerTech Halloween 5

 

BimmerTech Halloween 6

 

BimmerTech Halloween 7

 

BimmerTech Halloween 8

Now you can visit our Rear View Cameras Page to discover all the details about BimmerTech Park Assist Retrofits.

Maybe you own an older BMW without some of the latest technology advancements. Or perhaps the package you purchased didn’t include what you really wanted, like a rear view camera. You're in luck. BimmerTech’s DIY kits let anyone handy with a screwdriver install, upgrade, and retrofit your Bimmer with the goodies you’ve been dreaming about. And we’re here to help, from choosing the perfect kit to factory programming if necessary.

Today let’s talk BMW Backup Camera Retrofits, some of our most popular kits. If you’ve explored these on our site, you know we have three different options available.

They all work seamlessly with your existing factory display to give you the rear visibility and dynamic parking line guidance you need to avoid obstructions and back-up and park safely. They all feature outstanding picture quality, automatically activate when shifting to reverse, and mount in the trunk handle just like factory-installed. And none of them require any wire-cutting!

But which one is right for you?

OEM Rear View Camera Retrofit.

This Original Equipment Manufacturer kit is what BMW installs at the factory and offers the highest picture quality — as well as a higher price than the other options. Your BMW needs iDrive with Navigational Professional and a Parking Distance Control (PDC) system for it to take advantage of all of this kit’s features, which include the ability to add on such options as side-view and top-view cameras as well as trailer hitch mode. Once this BMW OEM camera is installed, we help you activate the factory coding remotely, free of charge. If you have a BMW without the features mentioned above, your best bet is to choose the MMI Rear View Camera Retrofit below.


OEM-Integration Rear View Camera Retrofit.

This rear view camera retrofit kit uses your BMW’s factory iDrive screen and camera mode, so you get the same look and feel as a factory-installed cam, with nearly the same picture quality — at a much lower price. If your BMW features PDC, this will appear as usual on the right side of the screen. If not, you will simply see a car diagram without sensor information. This kit displays static parking lines as standard, but offers optional dynamic parking lines, which curve with your steering wheel, making it easier to back up. And like above, we help you activate the factory coding remotely, free of charge. A great option if you have Navigation Professional and PDC, but want a more value-priced option to the OEM camera. See the video here:

 

MMI Rear View Camera Retrofit.

Perfect for any BMW model with a factory screen, this kit is truly plug and play — no coding or remote activation necessary! It displays static parking lines as standard, but offers optional dynamic parking lines as well. If your BMW already features PDC, this kit’s obstacle marking feature will automatically kick in. Plus, it’s fully compatible with an optional front camera. All at about the same price as the OEM-Integration Rear View Camera Retrofit. Be sure to check out the video below:

The below chart summarizes the most important features of BimmerTech rear view cameras:

Product name

Picture quality

Camera location

Car integration

Type of operation

Requirments

Features

Installation

OEM (same as factory installed)

5 stars

Trunk handle integrated

Same as factory installed

Automatic when car goes in reverse

Navigation and PDC

Dynamic parking lines

Obstacle marking

Trailer hitch mode (optional)

DIY with no wire-cutting. Vehicle coding is required and included.

OEM- Integration

4 stars

Trunk handle integrated

Uses factory screen and native BMW camera mode

Automatic when car goes in reverse

Navigation

Static parking lines

Dynamic parking lines (optional)

DIY with no wire-cutting. Vehicle coding is required and included.

MMI

4 stars

Trunk handle integrated

Uses factory screen and overrides the screen

Automatic when car goes in reverse

Any type of factory screen

Static parking lines

Dynamic parking lines (optional)

Obstacle marking (with PDC)

Front camera (optional)

DIY with no wire-cutting. Vehicle coding is not required. Plug and Play.

If you’re still unsure which kit is best for your model or how some of the features work, we’re just an This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it away. Get in touch and we’ll point you in the right direction.

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