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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I am a moderator on veloster.org, since Sonata owners are the other BlueLink proprietors in the Hyundai line up I wanted to post this info for you since it also applies to you.

Hyundai Think Tank | Media Day Chicago (Photo Gallery)

This was the perfect event to attend for me as I got to discuss in great length Blue Link with Barry Ratzlaff, Hyundai’s Director of Customer Satisfaction and Service Business Development (Blue Link Guru). Also met Heather Shin, Associate, Business Planning & Industry Analysis. She also helps run the Think Tank website among other things. Both of them summed up what you would expect from Hyundai staff, friendly, laid back and honest. They both reflected the company in a positive way. They were also being extremely humble about their accomplishments. They both enjoy their jobs and it reflected in our conversation. Not at any point was I getting a sales pitch about how Hyundai was the best, very relaxed and down to earth. Here is a picture with me and them:

(Left: Barry) (Center: Myself) (Right: Heather)




They had a nice goodie bag given out to Think Tank Members:



We did lunch as a group and talked about products. I asked many questions about Blue Link and the head units.

BlueLink
:

Yes I know a sore topic for some of your who can't seem to get theirs working right. Well they are going through some growing pains, they have made some large updates over the past two months and if you are having issues definitely call at 800-633-5151 or online at [email protected] You can also contact me directly and I will get gather your info and pass it along to make sure issues are addressed. There will be an update campaign at your Hyundai dealer for the MICOM programming on the head unit in the next month or two. This is just a firmware update (Update for the Bluelink Software) You will see it posted on here when released. For those with the original models we are several versions behind so this update may fix some oddities with the BlueLink connections or delays in connecting.

BlueLink II:
(Coming Soon)

New version and software in development that will involves vehicle head unit integration with apps, better and more detailed notifications for service, and improved BlueLink phone app. Details obviously are Hyundai only knowledge. I asked what the long term goal was and I got a short answer and that was basically to get to the point where you don't have to use your phone in the car (as much). They will be working on downloadable apps eventually, APIs for things like BING and other integration. So you can do things similar to Yelp like look for restaurant reviews. Also be able to send directions to other vehicles with BlueLink.

Head Unit Tech:


I asked too many questions about how they felt about an open sourced or open platform programming for the Veloster head unit. The idea was the owners can contribute as well as developers to keep the platform fresh over years of ownership. My vision is that we can add apps and design our own software to compliment the Hyundai offerings. The feeling that I got is they want to keep the head units (Touch Screen systems) closed and tamper free from the general owner.

There are too many regulatory hurdles and legal obstacles to allow many of the things we would like. They are also designing the system for ultimate ease of use. Not for customization. The reason is a vast majority of customer's only care about ease of use. I think the problem I am seeing in the Veloster community is, based on those on this website, most Veloster owners seem very technically in inclined and want more. It does not just end there, as I have had dealers contact me for assistance as well as countless messages on youtube, veloster.org and email asking for more and more features and help trouble shooting issues and modifying the existing product. So clearly I think there is some demand for more, the question is does it really fit into Hyundai's current plans and goals? At this point,

I don't believe so. However going forward when BlueLink advances I think there needs to be a middle ground. Hyundai currently uses Mobis (Hyundai Brand) head units in the Sonata, Elantra, Genesis. The Veloster is the only car with an LG head unit at this point, however they will be diversifying electronics and partners soon. As Barry put it, not to have all their eggs in one basket. So, at this point the only thing we can do is request application ideas that can be downloaded via BlueLink in the future. I have a ton of ideas on how they can improve future iterations however, I don't want to step on toes. Obviously they have a lot on their plate and are working hard on their current projects.


Personal Development:

I will continue to work on the Veloster Head Unit Customization: Veloster Software This includes modifying:


1. The existing LG skins, personalizing menus, backgrounds and phone specific menus:



2. Customized Shell Enabling Video, and NAV Options for Non NAV Owners (Proof of Concept)



Final Impressions:

We all have our experiences, I have been blessed in my life being exposed to many automotive operations and also owning many special vehicles in my time. With that said, I have never met company reps from any major automotive company who puts so much emphasis on interacting with their customers to improve their products and ways of thinking. I was very impressed with the organization of the Heather and Barry, they were very open and could tell they enjoyed the interaction with the loyalists. If you are a current owner, rest assured your voices are being heard. Future owners, I can promise no car or company is perfect. What you will find with Hyundai is at the top, they don't promise perfection, what they do is listen, learn and innovate.

If Sonata owners have specific issues or comments about Bluelink let me know.
 
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