In the latest such deal, Microsoft and Volvo agreed to install Skype for Business in 90 Series models, including here Volvo XC90, V10, and S90. We have already seen Apple vehicle play and Google Auto taking the centre screen in nearly all recently launched premium and luxury cars and now Volvo cars is the first vehicle maker to launch such an in-car productivity tool.
The Skype integration is a way of getting around the messier parts of joining conference calls, including entering long participant pin codes, and sometimes sequential button requirements that feed you through a chain of options before you ever even get to the meeting itself.
Back in the day, cars would basically get you from point A to point B. These days cars are smarter and they come with all kinds of nifty features, such as being more connected to the internet so that we can get more things done while on the road. Instead of pressing conference call phone numbers, drivers can join a meeting by pressing the Skype logo on the touchscreen. "Sitting in the auto, trying to join a conference call", said Anders Tylman-Mikiewicz, Volvo's vice president of consumer connectivity services, in a statement. It's not the best way to start an important call in the vehicle.
"Skype for Business represents another big step forward for our in-car connectivity and communication offer", Volvo's vice president consumer connectivity services, Anders Tylman-Mikiewicz, said in a statement.
Update: Volvo confirmed via correspondence with Carscoops that "video conferencing will not be supported" through the Skype interface in its cars.
While one might naturally wonder about the safety of interacting with a touch screen while driving, Volvo is also integrating Cortana technologies for voice recognition and speech commands. Drivers may be able to use Cortana for voice recognition and contextual insights.
Albeit, there's no target date for making Cortana available in a Volvo auto.
Microsoft is also likely to unveil Cortana on IoT devices such as washing machines and refrigerators.