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VNC Automotive: control your Sony Xperia phone from the dashboard or steering wheel

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RealVNC has announced a partnership with Sony for its VNC Automotive standard, which allows drivers to wirelessly access their smartphones from the car controls. All new Sony Xperia handsets released this year will come with the software preloaded.

You may know of the VNC standard as a way to remotely control your computer from a smartphone or other device, but RealVNC is flipping the script with its VNC Automotive technology — put simply, it lets you control your phone while driving. It's going to be preloaded on all new Sony Xperia handsets this year, like the Xperia P, and will integrate applications into the dashboard display on supported vehicles. It's also possible to map functionality from buttons on the steering wheel or headrests. If all this sounds a little potentially distracting to the driver, RealVNC assures us that there are built-in mechanisms that tie device access to vehicle speed, so you're probably not going to be aiming your Angry Birds while shifting lanes on the highway. While RealVNC is only mentioning Xperia handsets for now, we'd expect the remote access functionality to be made available to other Android smartphones at some point.