Get ready to build PowerPoint presentations in your car. Harman is integrating Microsoft Office 365 into its infotainment systems. The partnership will bring the entire suite of productivity apps including Word, Excel, and PowerPoint to the automotive industry for the first time.
Harman says users will be able to schedule meetings, respond to emails, and join conference calls hands-free thanks to Cortana integration, so people don’t die trying to put their slides in the right order.
Work is inescapable
Cortana in the car sounds nice, but never actually getting away from work after you leave the office isn't pleasant in the least. Sure, there are some workaholics who will build a PowerPoint on projected earnings for the upcoming quarter by voice, but everyone can't live that life. And what happens if voice dictation inputs the wrong number or word (as all voice recognition software is known to do) and sends it off? What if your stock projections are derailed by a toddler in the backseat who blurts out a number and it makes it into your tax spreadsheet, and now you're the lucky participant of an audit, because the way your kid says binky sounds like 13? These are all real, legitimate scenarios.
Which vehicles this integration will appear in is still undetermined. Although Harman hasn't said when the Office-enabled infotainment systems will make it into cars, it does work with a number of manufacturers including Audi, BMW, Mercedes, Jeep, Toyota, and even Harley-Davidson, but they all have final say over which features make it into production. So if you're an accountant riding a Fat Boy and have been dreaming of the day when you can whip up an Excel spreadsheet over your Bluetooth-enabled helmet, it's a good time to give Harley a call and make your dreams known.