LAS VEGAS-- Aha by HARMAN has announced multiple automotive and content partnerships that will dramatically expand the ways drivers can safely be entertained and informed in the car. Ford, Chrysler and Porsche today join Acura, Honda and Subaru in publicly announcing their integration of Aha's service. The Aha service uses the Harman Cloud Platform to safely enable Web-based entertainment and information in vehicles in a radio-like format familiar to drivers. By the end of 2013, Aha will be installed into vehicles by more than 10 auto manufacturers which in total represent more than 50 percent of all cars sold in the USA/Canada and up to 30 percent in Europe.
Today, Ford added Aha to its popular Ford Sync Applink platform, which is now live in more than one million vehicles. Chrysler announced that it will add Aha to its acclaimed UConnect Access suite of in-vehicle features. Porsche recently announced it will offer Aha radio integration as an option across its 911, Boxster, Cayenne, Cayman and Panamera model lines. The new option, Online Services, is powered by Aha and is an option on vehicles equipped with the latest generation of the Porsche Communication Management (PCM) system, which offers a variety of entertainment, navigation and information options. Subaru introduced its new STARLINK connectivity system featuring Aha, which will debut in navigation-equipped 2014 Forrester in all vehicles, and will also be introduced as a running change in 2013 model year Subaru Legacy and Outback models equipped with factory navigation. 2014 model year Subaru Impreza, BRZ, and XV Crosstrek models will all be adding STARLINK integration this summer as well.
In recent weeks, Aha expanded upon the 30,000 stations of audio programming available to its customers, spanning from the most popular mainstream media to unique long-tail content. Aha's new media partners include leaders in music such as AccuRadio, Deezer, Rdio and SomaFM. Location-based audio services from SurfLine, CustomWeatherTM, Hear Planet, Park VisitorTM and ROXIMITY are launching as Aha programming. Entertainment and news stations from Entertainment Radio Network and Kaliki mean Aha listeners can tune into content from OK!, Men's Fitness, Popular Science, Parenting, Shape, Star, TV Guide, Men's Health and more. Another new partnership with Storynory adds children's audio content to Aha, with classic storybooks, fairytales, bible stories, educational programs and more for kids of all ages.
For those consumers who aren't yet in the market for a new car, Aha also continues to expand its aftermarket presence. Alpine Electronics will become Aha's third major aftermarket partner with the introduction of the ICS-X7HD, its first in-dash app receiver to feature Aha and other connected services (available March 2013). Kenwood is launching 12 cloud-connected head units featuring Aha, with more to follow throughout 2013. Kenwood is the first manufacturer to launch a single-DIN Aha- enabled head unit, the KDC-X897. Pioneer was the first company to ship an Aha-enabled product back in 2011 and currently it offers Aha in three new AVIC head units, AVIC-Z150BH, AVIC-X950BH and AVIC-X850BT.
In addition, leading iPhone accessories maker Griffin Technology integrated Aha into its popular iTrip Auto so that any driver with an iPhone can safely bring Aha into their existing vehicle. The iTrip Auto costs just $59.99.
"Aha lets consumers access their favorite Web content as audio preset buttons wherever they go," said Robert Acker, VP of Connectivity for Harman. "By connecting people to the web in way that makes sense at 65 MPH Aha is delivering the next-generation of driver connectivity in a format as familiar as radio. We look forward to the day when drivers of any vehicle can safely access their favorite Web content using Aha."
"Enabling the consumption, creation and sharing of digital content in automobiles is an essential element in consumers' digital lifestyles," said Thilo Koslowski, Vice President and Automotive Practice Leader at Gartner Inc. "Successful connected vehicle solutions must be easy and safe to use, offer diverse, cloud-based content choices and ensure future upgradeability."
Consumers who want Aha's personalized listening experience can now download Aha's updated apps for Android and iPhone.
Aha is a part of HARMAN International (NYSE: HAR) the premium global audio and infotainment group.
HARMAN (www.harman.com) designs, manufactures and markets a wide range of audio and infotainment solutions for the automotive, consumer and professional markets — supported by 15 leading brands, including AKG®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon® and Mark Levinson®. The Company is admired by audiophiles across multiple generations and supports leading professional entertainers and the venues where they perform. More than 25 million automobiles on the road today are equipped with HARMAN audio and infotainment systems. HARMAN has a workforce of about 13,400 people across the Americas, Europe and Asia, and reported net sales of $4.4 billion for the twelve months ending June 30, 2012. The Company's shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol NYSE:HAR.