IMS aims to make vehicles “safer, smarter and greener”

Intelligent Mechatronic Systems Inc. (IMS) aims to make a seamless integration with smartphone, PC and the Internet possible with its new downloadable application that enables users to surf the Web via PC, no matter where they are.

IMS is a telematics and mobile media solutions vendor that was founded in 1999 and is headquartered in Waterloo, Ont. Ken Truffen, vice-president of marketing at IMS, said the company originally started out as a research and development company that was focused on the safety of vehicles. Since then, Truffen said the company has emerged as a vendor that also serves the enterprise and consumer markets too. The company’s motto, he said, centres around “making vehicles safer, smarter and greener.”

The company’s most recent product announcement is its XTop Mobile solution, which is set for release by March 31 of this year. It’s a smartphone and PC downloadable application that leverages a smartphone’s Internet connectivity to allow users to surf the Web and open attachments on a PC, once content is received on a smartphone, Truffen explains. With XTop, smartphone users no longer have to look for WiFi hotspots with their PCs again, he added.

“Our president and CEO, Otman Basir, realized there was a demand for people who wanted to have a unified screen to work on (a PC) and smartphone,” Truffen said. “With XTop, you have a dashboard that sits on your computer and you have the same browsing and mobile capabilities.”

With the application, users can utilize their smartphone’s browser to receive desired content on a laptop or desktop PC no matter where they are, Truffen explains. This capability provides users with a real-time, unified PC and smartphone experience by delivering smartphone e-mails, calls, BlackBerry PIN messages and more to a PC using a secure Bluetooth connection. XTop also enables users to have a full desktop experience and keyboard, making it easier to type and do work.

XTop is set to launch in North America by the end of March, at an introductory price point of $79. It will be available through content distributors which include, Handango, Handmark, BlackBerry App World, eAccess and MobiHand.

In addition to XTop, the company also has its DriveSync solution which utilizes GPS and cellular technologies to keep track of where, how far, when, how fast and how aggressively a vehicle is being driven. This data can then be used by businesses such as insurance companies who can then collect auto insurance based on these metrics.

Unlike Toronto-based Skymeter Corp.’s GPS-based road tolling metering solution, which collects data via an electronic metering box which sits on a vehicle’s dashboard and then sends the billing data to Skymeter, who then sells the data to a service provider, who then collects the money from the customer, Truffen said IMS does everything end-to-end.

“With DriveSync, we go direct and work with businesses such as insurance and government agencies,” he said. “We provide the hardware and software, the backend reporting and also the functionality.”

IMS also has its iLane solution that allows users to control their smartphone by using simple voice commands while they drive. Using voice commands, users can answer and make calls and listen and respond to e-mails, without having to take their hands off the steering wheel or eyes off the road, Truffen said. This capability is made possible in partnership with IMS’ telco partners which include Bell Mobility and Telus in Canada. Users can also use iLane to check things like weather, news or sports, thanks to IMS’ additional partnerships with the Associated Press and the Weather Network.

Up next for IMS, Truffen said the company plans to launch its iLane solution internationally by the end of the year.

“We’re also trying to build awareness of all of our brands,” Truffen said. “Being a small company with 130 employees, it’s not always that easy to get your name out there.”

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Maxine Cheung
Maxine Cheung
Staff Writer, Computer Dealer News

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