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Entrepreneur -- Anyone who’s been to Sonic knows what unmet expectations feel like. If you’re a small business owner, you’ve probably come to hate the verb “expect” more than any other. Customers have a whole lot of dreams about what you can deliver, and it’s all too easy to come up short when someone has their eyes to the sky.

In the tech world, expectations are especially killer. Terms like “the cloud” don’t help. Clouds are huge fluffy things that float and take on a million, ever-changing forms, so you can’t blame people for thinking that anything is possible in this industry. But when you’re operating on a budget, you can’t fulfill every whim, so part of the responsibility—and surely thrill—of owning a business is learning to set and then meet your clients’ expectations.

1. Attract the Right Business

As the voice of your product, you have the power to draw the kind of customers you want, and that starts with your brand. If you spout yourself as a full-service operation that holds the customer’s hand from start to finish, you need to deliver on that immediately to keep your clients around. If you’re more hands-off, you’ll be going after independent clients who are up for DIY. Communicate who you are and stick to it. If people are coming through the door with the wrong idea about you, you’re not being loud enough.

2. Understand Your Clients

Once you gain someone’s business, the expectation game really begins. You’ll get clients who love you (referrals, anyone?) and clients who really… don’t. Treat them as case studies. Let them vent. Learn what went wrong. These people will help you grow more than your biggest fans, even if you end up losing their business. Biting the bullet and asking honestly, “Where did we screw up?” will indulge them and enlighten you. To initiate these conversations, you need a method of taking your clients’ temperature before they’re fuming. Periodic check-ins, whether digital or in-person, give your customers the sense that they’ve been heard, plus provide you with regular insight on how you’re faring.

Read the rest of the story here: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/247040

Boston Globe -- Nuance Communications Inc. has taught our cars how to talk. Now it’s trying to teach them when to shut up.

Earlier this month, Burlington-based Nuance received a US patent for a system that reads incoming text messages aloud, through a car’s audio system — but only when it concludes that it’s safe for the driver to hear them.

A car can’t read minds, but its built-in sensors can read the road. The Nuance system captures data on driving conditions and uses it to decide whether it’s the best time to play incoming messages.

Nuance is a leading maker of software that translates spoken words into digital text, and text into speech. Its software is installed in smartphones, including the Apple Inc. iPhone, personal computers, and cars. The company’s Dragon Drive system lets drivers place calls or send texts using voice commands, or hear incoming messages read aloud.

Nuance declined to comment, but according to its patent, the technology would constantly monitor the car’s speed, traffic density, and road conditions, and also download weather data from the Internet. It uses this information to estimate the amount of conscious effort a driver needs to safely operate the car under certain conditions.

Read the rest of the story here: http://www.bostonglobe.com/business/2015/06/19/next-cars-that-know-when-speak/Ygnbi5fjWuOFtFwVPx3lvM/story.html

Rockford Corp. has announced the retirement of industry veteran Howard Miller. Miller and his wife, Sharon, founded Crimestopper in 1980, and Miller joined Rockford as a consultant after Rockford acquired Crimestopper in 2014. Miller will remain with Rockford until June 30.

“Howard has built hundreds of business relationships and developed deep friendships throughout his long tenure in the industry,” said Rockford Corporation President and CEO Bill Jackson. “He is known as a field intensive guy and a person who has a work ethic that is second to none. He is one of those iconic people in the industry that basically everyone knows and everyone likes because of his personality and professionalism.”

For 35 years in the North American market, Crimestopper, Inc. has been an industry leader in 12 Volt aftermarket electronics and has become a one-stop-shop for total vehicle security and safety needs. Over the past decade, the company has been recognized for offering the widest selection of vehicle security and remote start systems in the marketplace. It has also expanded its product line to include GPS tracking systems and a wide variety of vehicle safety products such as cameras, monitors, wireless video systems, collision avoidance and parking sensor systems, DVR systems, and tire pressure monitoring systems.

“It’s been quite a ride,” said Miller. “Sharon and I started Crimestopper with humble beginnings with quite literally nothing, and built it up to one of the most respected brands in the industry over the past four decades. There are too many people to recognize for helping us along the way, but we do thank each and every one of them. And now, seeing what Rockford is putting into the business allows me to retire knowing Crimestopper is in good hands.”

Jackson concluded, “We are sad to see Howard leave the organization. He has been a great partner and has built a fabulous reputation in the industry. I am sure Howard is looking forward to improving his golf handicap and relaxing. We wish nothing but the best for the Millers and look forward to carrying on their legacy by continuing to build the Crimestopper brand.”

For more information, visit www.rockfordcorp.com.

A functional heads-up display (HUD) may be close to being a reality in the aftermarket. IRIS: Your Car and Network Combined, is a new HUD that attaches to the overhead visor in any vehicle and syncs to the user's mobile device via Bluetooth. The device is transparent and displays notifications such as upcoming directional suggestions like turns and road traffic, as well as text message and email notifications. The device also accepts phone calls.

Inspired by the same technology that fighter pilots use, IRIS is completely hands-free, relying on gesture controls for functionality while driving. The campaign has a goal of $50,000 and has [at this time] achieved $17,384 in just seven days.

The following is straight from the company's Facebook page:

"Iris is a new heads-up display (HUD) system that projects incoming phone calls, text messages, emails and more through a new laser technology that makes the messages appear to be floating out in front of your vehicle. Compatible with iPhone, Android and BlackBerry, Iris connects via Bluetooth using the latest display technology and clever software powered by a free App on your phone. And because Dallas and Dino, the developers behind Iris, do not want this driving evolution to stop, they have made their App an Open Source Software so that it can continue to evolve for the people by the people with unlimited possibilities."

To visit the Indigogo campaign, visit: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/iris-your-car-and-network-combined#/story

 

KENWOOD USA announced that it has hired industry veteran Randy Davis to become its next Western Region Sales Manager. The manufacturer of connected and integrated technologies for the automotive aftermarket will charge Davis with overseeing sales operations in the 13 western states, from Colorado to Alaska and Hawaii.

With more than 30 years in the mobile electronics industry, Davis has spent almost his entire career with Stillwater Designs in various sales management capacities, including a seven-year posting in Europe, where he helped strengthen sales, streamline distribution infrastructure and develop new markets. Domestically, he was instrumental in developing brand messaging and implementing campaigns to support the company’s marketing channels.

“I am grateful for all the years I had with my previous employer,” said Davis. “I was able to gain extensive experience and make lifelong industry connections that I can use throughout my career. That said, KENWOOD has always been a company that thrives on product excellence and forward-thinking technology, and I am excited, in this next chapter, to employ my skills and experience with such an iconic brand.”

Based in Fort Collins, Colo., Davis plans to bolster the territory by helping sales representatives, distributors and retailers employ creative strategies to grow market share and increase sales.

“There is no question that Randy’s experience makes us a better sales and service organization,” said Rob Sutton, director of sales for KENWOOD’s car electronics division. “In addition to all of his accomplishments, he has become well-known and well-liked among industry professionals at every level. His thorough understanding of marketing strategy and execution will complement KENWOOD’s brand positioning and sales efforts with retailers and local sales representatives. We are extremely pleased to have him on board.”

Davis can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. For more information on KENWOOD products and events, please visit www.kenwood.com/usa.

CNET -- Ford introduces the newest generation of its Sync infotainment system this week, Sync 3, with navigation, digital audio, hands-free phone and app support. The new system comes in response to negative feedback about the previous MyFord Touch system.

When Ford launched the first generation of Sync in 2007, it was revolutionary, letting drivers use voice command to makes calls from a Bluetooth-paired phone by contact name and request music from a USB-connected drive by album, artist and track name. Those features have become common in cars today. The second generation of Sync, in conjunction with the MyFord Touch graphic interface, was not so successful, eliciting criticism for cluttered buttons and slow touch response times.

The touchscreen response times proved greatly improved partially due to a hardware change from a resistive to a capacitive touchscreen. Behind the scenes, the system runs on a Texas Instruments OMAP 5 dual-core processor with 2GB of RAM.

The software interface has been completely rewritten. The home screen shows navigation on the left side of the screen, with audio and phone cards stacked on the right side. Touching any of these areas launches the associated function. A menu ribbon running along the bottom of the display also gives access to these functions, along with climate controls and apps. While this homescreen is well-designed, many of the subscreens drop the home button, requiring a few quick presses on back buttons to return.

Read the rest here: http://www.cnet.com/news/new-ford-sync-improves-nav-adds-visual-apps/

DOW Electronics, a leading Consumer Electronics distributor in the South, announced that it is now stocking the complete line of Sony ES products. The Sony ES line provides retailers with a line that is protected from online shopping and has controlled distribution.  

Sony’s ES receivers have been designed to fit seamlessly into racks, to be more efficiently installed and to include IP control for more powerful and stable integration. Sony worked with industry leading control companies to ensure that their ES projectors and ES receivers would smoothly integrate with many control systems. Sony supports these premium home products with a dedicated support team and a three year warranty.

DOW Electronics adds the full Sony ES line to strengthen the core products offered to custom integrators. “Sony ES provides integrators with a product line-up that has protected margin and also has true controlled distribution,” stated Dave Elkin, DOW’s vice president of sales. “This is a great addition to give our integrators- a profitable product with limited competition.”

Added Drew Fischer, director of sales, “The Sony ES projectors and receivers are well-designed, high quality products with great name brand recognition. Our integrators should be able to capitalize on the highly regarded reputation Sony has built in the industry. Sony is well known for leading innovation as can be seen in the new Sony ES projectors that offer native 4K not seen in other manufacturers’ products.”

DOW distributes the Sony ES line throughout its 11 state territory in the south. The line is contract protected requiring retailers to be approved to resell the products.

To learn more about DOW Electronics and Sony, please visit www.DOWElectronics.com or call 1.800.627.2900.

K40 Electronics has announced a partnership with Canadian distributor DLC Distributors of Surrey, British Columbia. DLC will become the primary distributor of K40 Electronics portable radar/laser detectors and custom-installed radar/laser protection systems throughout Canada. Distribution from DLC will be effective immediately.

According to the company, DLC Distributors provides knowledgeable, first-class technical support to their expansive distribution network, and K40 offers advanced radar/laser systems with unmatched profitability that are never sold directly to consumers.

“We’re proud to partner with the outstanding team at DLC. With years of category experience and an established, handpicked distribution network, they are the perfect group to represent K40’s product line in Canada,” said Rachel Clark, K40’s National Sales Director.

To become an authorized K40 Canadian retailer, call DLC Distributors at 1.800.667.8992, or contact them via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

World Highways -- A new study shows that the risk level of a driver’s likelihood of a crash can be determined accurately. An independent study carried out by driver behaviour specialist CAS for Risk Technology shows that data collected by automotive telematics devices can accurately predict the likelihood of a motorist having a crash. CAS carried out its research with 1,291 drivers who were insured by a leading UK firm and had telematics devices installed in their vehicles. The study examined how driver behaviour affects the chance of a driver being involved in an incident and the potential to make an insurance claim.
CAS concluded that the Risk Technology driver scoring methodology provides a good prediction of a driver’s potential to be involved in crashes. It takes several key factors into consideration and analyses this information more accurately than other technology.
The study investigated the accuracy of five key indicators used by Risk to predict driver behaviour, including: speed of driving, braking force, acceleration speed, whether or not the drive is taking place on an urban road, and or whether it is day or night time.
This information was collected from each driver’s telematics device and compared against the cause of any crashes or damages recorded by the insurer. The main reasons recorded for accidents included a lack of hazard perception, poor basic steering skills, loss of control of the vehicle, and not maintaining a safe distance from other vehicles.
Different crash types are best predicted by different combinations of factors. For example, driver’s braking score was shown to be a very good predictor of loss of control, and is currently the most useful indicator to insurers for predicting this type of crash.

Bloomberg -- Ford Motor Co. and Jaguar Land Rover Ltd. are teaming up with the U.K. government to test autonomous cars as an add-on to public transport systems.

The U.K. Autodrive Consortium will place 40 self-driving transport “pods” on the streets of Milton Keynes, about 60 miles (100 kilometers) north of London, for six months beginning in late 2017, project head Tim Armitage said in an interview. The British government’s goal is to secure a slice of the growing market for autonomous transport.

The project, which is partially funded by a government grant, is part of a five-year, 120 million-pound ($186 million) effort by the U.K. to become a leader in self-driving vehicles, challenging Germany and the U.S. The goal is to spur investment as well as reduce accidents and improve air quality.

“There’s some big wins” with autonomous vehicles, Armitage said. “But in order to reach those big wins, we need some new technology.”

The trial, a three-year investment backed by a 10 million-pound government grant and the same amount from the private sector, is running alongside two other U.K. programs in Bristol, England, and the London borough of Greenwich. U.K. road laws are more open to testing driverless cars on public roads than many other countries, making the country attractive to foreign companies, Armitage said.

Read the rest of the story here: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-06-11/ford-jaguar-consortium-to-test-driverless-transport-pods-in-u-k-

Fierce Wireless -- Audi CEO Rupert Stadler vowed to protect driver privacy in the age of the connected car, in an apparent snub of new market entrants including Google.

In a presentation to German executives in Berlin, Stadler warned that drivers' privacy is at risk from the push towards connected and self-driving cars, and that Audi is working with its domestic rivals to develop secure systems, Bloomberg reported.

Google chairman Eric Schmidt later told the same audience that the company wants to tap German companies' expertise to help it develop a European car strategy. The U.S. company has already worked with Audi and its parent Volkswagen, along with Opel, the German arm of General Motors, Bloomberg added.

Stadler believes that only drivers and their passengers should be able to access data collected by connected cars, Reuters reported, noting that marketers and advertisers are particularly interested in information relating to a vehicle's speed and location.

Read the rest here: http://www.fiercewireless.com/europe/story/audi-ceo-pledges-protect-driver-data-age-connected-car/2015-06-10

The C3 Group will host its third annual Connected Car Conference (C3) at CE Week, showcasing the trends and technologies that are driving innovation in automotive and transportation, and featuring interactive panel discussions.

With a special program emphasis on unique, urban issues of traffic, commuting and safety, The Connected Car Conference will take place on Tuesday, June 23 in New York City at the Metropolitan Pavilion, located at 125 West 18th Street in Manhattan.

Participating companies in the Connected Car Conference program include AAA, Buick, Google, Hyundai Ventures, iBiquity, INRIX, Intelligent Car Coalition, Jaguar/Land Rover, Leidos, Nuance, NXP, Pandora, Pioneer Electronics, Scion and QNX.

Thought leaders from automotive, technology, policy and research will discuss a variety of topics in interactive panel sessions, including:

  • Using Tech to Protect and Serve Urban Commuters and Improving the Driving Experience
  • Big Data vs. Bad Traffic: Beating Gridlock with Technology
  • Tackling Connected Car Security and Privacy Concerns

C3 EVENT SUMMARY:
WHAT: C3 Group Connected Car Conference in New York City
DATE: Tuesday, June 23, 2015
TIME: Invitation-only media lunch 12:00pm – 1:00pm ET; Technology demonstrations by Buick, Google, Pioneer, QNX and Scion at 1:00pm ET; Full Program: 2:00pm – 5:30pm + reception.
LOCATION: The Metropolitan Pavilion, located at 125 West 18th Street in Manhattan.

Voxx Electronics Corporation is looking for a West Coast based experienced Regional Retail Sales Manager to join its Mobile Electronics Sales organization. The sales manager will report directly to the Vice President of Mobile Electronics and the primary responsibilities will be to work with its extensive customer base in concert with its existing rep groups and inside sales personnel.

Please forward resume to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Job Requirements

  • Manage, Train, Coach and lead assigned territory representatives
  • Extensive Knowledge of Mobile Electronics products; Audio, Video, Security, & Satellite radio
  • Prior experience working in the Mobile Electronics marketplace
  • Ability to work in fast paced environment
  • Ability to multi-task within several products lines
  • Proven track record of managing sales personnel
  • Proven track record of closing new business and developing sales channels
  • Meeting budget requirements
  • Planning and forecasting territory sales
  • Ability to analyze sell in/sell through data, competitive market share, and develop market plans
  • Identifies areas of growth and closing new business opportunities
  • Extensive travel requirement, 2 weeks a month
  • Proficient in Microsoft office and Salesforce
  • Excellent written and verbal communication
  • Excellent account management and negotiation skills

Compensation/Benefits

  • Salary
  • Monthly Commissions
  • Bonus program
  • 401K
  • Vacation
  • Company paid expenses

Reuters -- U.S. job openings surged to a record high in April and small business confidence perked up in May, suggesting the economy was regaining speed after stumbling at the start of the year.

The economy's stronger tone was reinforced by other data on Tuesday showing a solid rise in wholesale inventories in April, in part as oil prices stabilized.

"This is more confirmation that the economy is indeed emerging from that soft patch in the first quarter and can still pick up even faster in the next few months," said Chris Rupkey, chief financial economist at MUFG Union Bank in New York.

Job openings, a measure of labor demand, rose 5.2 percent to a seasonally adjusted 5.4 million in April, the highest level since the series began in December 2000, the Labor Department said in its monthly Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS).

Hiring slipped to 5.0 million from 5.1 million in March. Economists say the lag in hiring suggests that employers cannot find qualified workers for the open positions.

The number of unemployed job seekers per open job, a measure of labor market slack, fell to 1.6 in April, the lowest since 2007 and down from 1.7 in March.

"On balance, we read the April JOLTS data as suggesting labor market momentum remains intact in the second quarter and labor market slack continues to diminish," said Jesse Hurwitz, an economist at Barclays in New York.

 Read the rest of the story here: http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/06/09/us-usa-economy-idUSKBN0OP1MO20150609

CNET -- During the keynote presentation at this morning's Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple announced that CarPlay is going wireless.

As part of its iOS 9 discussion, Apple stated that the next generation of its iOS mobile operating system that powers iPhone devices will bring with it changes to the CarPlay smartphone integration software for automobiles. CarPlay will now feature support for new resolutions, new and more flexible aspect ratios, and higher resolution displays. The next version of CarPlay will also feature the potential for tighter integration with its host vehicle and will be able to tap into automotive data and even control certain functions of the car.

Apple is also cutting the requirement to plug in via Lightning connector. Currently, CarPlay users have to plug their devices into a USB port in the host vehicle via a Lightning cable to gain in-dash control of their smartphones. However, in future cars, iOS users will be able to get in car and connect without taking the phone out of pocket, with the only connection between the device and the auto being a wireless one, presumably Bluetooth, Wi-Fi or both.

Read the rest of the story here: http://www.cnet.com/uk/news/apple-cuts-the-cord-on-carplay/

Android Headlines -- It does seem increasingly likely that the connected car is going to be one of the next big things in technology. There is a good majority of people that drive their car on a daily basis either because they have to or because they want to. So naturally, if people could be connected there too, they will want to be, right?

Well, according to a new survey from Strategy Analytics, that answer is a little more complex than a simple yes or a no. A recent survey from Strategy Analytics asked consumers if they would be willing to pay extra money to have a Wi-Fi hotspot built into their new car.

According to the survey, 21 percent of U.S. consumers would be willing to pay that extra money. The same survey also points out that the 21 percent is down from the 24 percent that it was in the past. Why this decline in willingness to pay extra money for a connected car in today’s day and age happened, seems to be answered by another Strategy Analytics survey.

Read the rest of the story here: http://www.androidheadlines.com/2015/06/consumer-ad-paid-connected-car-services-preference-unclear.html

DD Audio will be the main audio sponsor at this years Slamology Automotive and Music Festival held June 12-14 at the Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis, Indiana. According to Donnie Babb, Slamology President, this is expected to be the largest Slamology to date. At the close of pre-registration, the event was already up 40% over last year.

DD Audio staff will be on location to answer any questions about the line. Along with the newest products, the booth will be blasting 2 demo vehicles that you won’t want to miss. The DD Audio booth will be located in-between the Full Tilt Demo VIP area and Vendor Row.

One of the must see rides is Frank Daniels’ 2010 Camaro SS featuring 2 full DD Audio systems; one for the cabin of the vehicle, and one for the gaming console and screen in the trunk. The second is Frank Lopez’s Tahoe with over 20,000 watts of amplification powering a wall of 21” Z-Series subs.

Kevin Holden, attending DD Sales Representative, says ”We have several exciting new products coming out to talk to people about, and the demos in the booth will definitely be worth stopping by to see.”

Business in Savannah -- Mike Kimball’s family owned Kimball’s Mobile Electronics has been a go-to car audio dealer in Savannah for more than 40 years.

Earlier this year, Kimball and longtime employees Chris Rawlins and Nick Hall put their expertise to use in a different way: They spent more than a month preparing for a toy truck build-off March 21 at Spring Break Nationals at Daytona Beach’s Ocean Center, one of the East Coast’s biggest mobile electronics trade shows.

The toy truck was custom-made and fully loaded by Kimball’s Mobile Electronics and won first place at the competition. After the win, Kimball announced he would donate the toy truck — valued at around $2,000 — to St. Joseph’s/Candler Foundations to be sold to support advancements in cancer care at the Nancy N. and J.C. Lewis Cancer & Research Pavilion in Savannah.

This initiative will be the biggest charitable contribution Kimball’s Mobile Electronics has had to date.

“We’re really excited about donating to the hospital,” Kimball said. “When we first started to build the toy truck, we didn’t really have a plan to donate it to charity. But then the more the truck came along, the more it seemed like a great idea.”

Kimball’s wife Connie works at J.C. Lewis Cancer & Research Pavilion and helped inspire the idea.

“We’ve had a lot of close loved ones suffer from cancer. And people at our church,” he said. “Everyone seems to be affected by it in some way or another. This donation seemed like a really good fit.”

Kimball is working with St. Joseph’s/Candler Foundations on an event to raffle off the toy truck.

Read the rest here: http://businessinsavannah.com/bis/2015-06-06/local-auto-shop-donates-elaborate-custom-toy-car-charity

International Business Times -- Samsung Pay is coming to Samsung smartwatches later this year. The South Korean technology giant is planning to launch a wearable device that can also make mobile payments, according to unnamed sources speaking to the Electronic Times.

The smartwatch -- codenamed Orbis -- will use near-field communication (NFC) technology to facilitate contactless payments. This is the same technology used by Apple Inc. for Apple Pay on its iPhone 6 and the Apple Watch and Google's Android Pay. Samsung Pay was first introduced by the company with the launch of the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge. But in addition to using NFC, the mobile payment system also uses magnetic secure transmission technology, which works with older credit card payment terminals that don’t have contactless credit card technology built in. Though Samsung uses both technologies in its latest smartphones, it’s unknown if it plans to do the same with its smartwatch as well.

Samsung’s smartwatch isn’t expected to launch until sometime in the second half of the year.

Read the rest of the story here: http://www.ibtimes.com/samsung-pay-coming-samsung-electronics-smartwatches-later-year-1956574

OEM integration manufacturer Audiocontrol will host a webinar called "Audiocontrol's Train in the Rain Series - Selling Audiocontrol Products." The seminar will focus on suggested selling practices for selling AudioControl OE integration and Epicenter Amplifiers.

It will take place on Thursday, June 18th, from 3:15-4:15 pm, PDT. Other topics will include Increasing Sales with Product Knowledge, Today's Obstacles And Preparing For Tomorrow and Accubass Vs. The Epicenter - What's the Difference.

To join the webinar, click on the following link and sign up: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/rt/5058733519213319937?utm_source=AC+Webinar+Invite+-+06-18-15&utm_campaign=Train+in+the+rain+-+Selling+AudioControl&utm_medium=email

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