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Dec 9 '13

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Nov 18 '13

Don’t Let the Holidays Be a Recipe for Disaster - Make It Joyful with MHL

By Karin Vogel, Director of Consumer Marketing, MHL, LLC

Okay, here’s the scenario: you and your family and friends just finished a holiday meal with all the trimmings.  Everyone sitting at the table is suddenly half comatose as the blood rushes to their stomachs.  One person is smart enough to make some coffee and the other is kind enough to start doing the dishes.  Everyone else reaches into their pocket or purse and grabs their smartphone.  It’s been over an hour since they last checked it, right?  The conversation stops, the silence is deafening except for the family cat scampering across the floor.

So how can you save this family gathering from going to pieces and avoid everyone slipping into their smartphone worlds? Well, if you can’t beat them, join them.  Instead of creating family drama by nagging people to get off their phones, just go with it.  Here are six “MHL recipes” to flavor your entertainment dishes from mobile to big screen!

APPETIZER

  • Take your phones for a walk.  Have everyonegrab their smartphones and head outside as a group to get some fresh air. Encourage everyone to take photos with their phones of funny group shots or make videos of family and friends tossing a football around. Go back to the house to show all of those pictures and videos on the big screen with the winner securing a whole year of bragging rights.

MAIN COURSE

  • Show your relatives who is the best gamer in the family. Fight off food coma, by getting your entire family involved with an interactive and fun video game. No gaming console, no problem!  Bring your Bluetooth gaming controller and pair it with your Android smartphone to game all night without any lag.  Pull up Family Feud, Heads-Up or another one of your favorite trivia games and be prepared to get LOUD.

DESSERT 

  • When all else fails, watch a movie.  After the pie has been finished, gather everyone in the family room to watch your favorite YouTube video, a classic film like Casablanca, or the latest Marvel movie releases that you’ve stored on your tablet.  An MHL connection supports cinema-quality video and surround sound audio.  You can also use Netflix or Hulu to stream movies, all while your television charges back your phone, so get with the TV program.

AFTER DINNER DRINKS

  • Fire up the Yule Log.  Yes, the classic fireplace video footage of a crackling log has been recreated by many on YouTube.  Start with a small fire on your phone, and then move it to the big screen as it catches. Grab a glass of brandy or a steaming cup of hot chocolate, tea, or coffee and relax on the couch with your loved ones and ignite some conversation.

LEFTOVERS

  • Keep the backseat drivers at bay.  Many car entertainment systems have MHL so, if you have one, you can entertain your backseat passengers with movies or games. I also suggest you bring some extra headphones for those being entertained…so you can drive in peace.

One holiday down! We hope these MHL ideas are your recipes for success or just food for thought. 

View comments Tags: mhl holidays

Oct 15 '13

Today’s mobile gaming blurs the lines between mobile and traditional console

By Michael Bergen, Senior Partner Alliance Manager, MHL, LLC.

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The convergence of mobile phones and game consoles is accelerating at a remarkable pace.  Even though the next generation of consoles will be coming out in the next few months, the experience of mobile gaming is already rich and engaging.  When you consider some of the new high-end mobile games such as Infinity Blade III, Real Racing™, N.O.V.A., Asphalt 8, FIFA™ 14, and Madden NFL Football, the lines between mobile gaming and traditional console gaming are blurring.  In addition, when you look at some of the newer mobile phones, such as the Acer Liquid S2 that supports 4K UltraHD video, the level of technology in mobile devices is beginning to rival, and in some instances, exceed that of traditional gaming hardware.

Traditionally, the advantage of a dedicated game console has been the controllers, which have interfaces such as dual analog joysticks, dedicated gaming buttons, shoulder triggers, and D-pads.  This is also an area which has seen tremendous advances for mobile games.  Not long ago, the only wireless game controller for Android phones was the Zeemote JS1, a simple joystick with 3 buttons.  Today, there are advanced game controllers from MOGA (MOGA Pro™ Power Controller), Nyko (PlayPad Pro), and from Green Throttle (Atlas Controller), among others.  These affordable mobile controllers are full function game controllers with all of the features of console game controllers. The final trend in the continuing evolution of mobile gaming is Android games on the big screen.  This is still somewhat new, but products like the GameStick and the OUYA are showing that there’s a growing demand for Android games on a big screen, which, when coupled with a controller, can significantly enhance a user’s gaming experience.

In fact, market research firm NativeX recently released new data showing that within the last year, the average mobile gamer’s engagement time has more than doubled.  The amount of avid mobile gamers (those that play more than 10 minutes per session) has also doubled.  In Q1 of 2013, gamers spent on average two minutes and 37 seconds playing per session versus one minute and 27 seconds in Q3 of 2012 – a 102% increase.  NativeX also discloses that the number of power users has increased by 146% from 3.7% to 9%.  This clearly shows that users have moved toward deeper engagement in the mobile gaming space. 

With more and more powerful smartphones on the market today, gamers are already equipped with a console that never leaves their hands.  Pair your mobile device with better, richer games and you’re ready to game anytime, anywhere.  Now, this leaves gamers with a choice: spend hundreds of dollars on a traditional game console, or simply add a few small and inexpensive components to the Android smartphone that they already have, such as an MHL cable or MHL adapter and a game controller.  With this simple set up, a whole new, immersive gaming experience that rivals the current generation of consoles awaits!

MHL and the MHL logo are a trademark, registered trademark or service mark of MHL, LLC in the United States and/or other countries.  All other trademarks and registered trademarks are the property of their respective owners in the United States and/or other countries.

View comments Tags: mobile gaming

Aug 28 '13

There’s No Place Like PAX

By Michael Bergen, Senior Partner Alliance Manager, MHL, LLC

As Summer comes to a close and we’re preparing for back to school, Labor Day weekend is ideally suited for a final celebration, and what better way to get your geek on than at PAX Prime in Seattle?  For those less geeky who might not know what I’m talking about, PAX Prime is a games conference that’s open to everyone. Major games conferences in Europe (Gamescom) and Asia (China Joy) restrict areas to the public, and you have to be an industry insider to attend E3, the big North American game conference.  PAX fixes that – it’s entirely open to the public, but you should remember to get your tickets and hotel room fast before they sell out. As you can see by this picture, PAX is one of the very few places where game enthusiasts and consumers can get their hands on the newest games, game accessories, and gaming hardware, some of which are still in pre-release. So, if you have a passion for gaming, you really should head over to Seattle for Labor Day weekend!

As we did at PAX East in Boston back in March, MHL® will once again be participating inside the PowerA booth to show you that your Android smartphone is a game console, especially when paired with a wireless game controller like the MOGA or MOGA Pro.  At PAX East, PowerA based their booth around the edge-of-your-seat zombie fighting game Dead Trigger, by Madfinger Games. Zombies, like the one pictured below, were going around PAX East infecting the living by slapping bracelets on their wrists. If you were bitten, the only way to get disinfected was to stop by the PowerA booth quarantine, where you not only got to play Dead Trigger, but eligible people were also given a Moga Pocket game controller, and some even won an MHL Streamer XL Dock by iBolt. You’ll have to come by the PowerA booth at PAX Prime to see what exciting activities are in store.

Besides seeing and playing the latest and greatest in video games, PAX is packed to the rafters with all kinds of geeky goodness, including a gigantic tabletop gaming area, a LAN gaming area where you can bring your own PC, cosplay, tournaments of all kinds, and of course the famous nerdcore concerts.

As mobile gaming continues to grow in popularity, and as mobile games keep getting better and more immersive, the line between mobile and console is blurring. We’re even starting to see dedicated Android-based game consoles.  But if you already have an Android smartphone, why not just use a simple MHL connection and a MOGA game controller to play some of your favorite mobile games on a big screen? Jet Set Radio, Sonic, Riptide GP, Asphalt 7, Wind-up Knight, Grand Theft Auto III, and Shadowgun are just a few of the games that give a real console experience with just MHL and a MOGA controller. And, of course, with MHL, there’s no lag and your phone charges while you play, so your battery won’t die during that critical boss fight!

If PAX Prime isn’t in your future this time around, you can always follow the action at PennyArcade.com. If you’re heading on over to PAX Prime, be sure to visit us in the PowerA booth #3403. Get your hands on an awesome game controller, have a chance to win an iBolt MHL dock, and see some of the coolest mobile games. So pack your best cosplay, forget about sleeping for three days, and remember: The geek shall inherit the Earth!

3 notes View comments Tags: pax mhl mhltechnology meetmhl

Aug 12 '13

Are YOU Ready For Dorm Life? Don’t Forget To Pack MHL

By Karin Vogel, Director of Consumer Marketing, MHL, LLC

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Are you heading back to school this fall, or maybe off to college for the first time?  By now you’ve probably spent a small fortune on liters of Mountain Dew and bulk packs of Ramen noodles — not to mention the books, software and study guides you have to buy.  The student housing authority and dorm RAs have probably already sent you a letter or email with a list of essentials for a happy dorm life.  These helpful lists often include a small refrigerator, a reading lamp, and earplugs along with an equally helpful list of items you should NOT bring like hot plates, gas heaters, torch lamps, or incense.

Well, if there’s one thing that should be on the TOP of that back-to-school list it’s MHL®, which stands for Mobile High-Definition Link.   MHL is a way to connect your Android smartphone to your big screen TV (or computer monitor) using a single connection that also simultaneously charges your phone.  

Increase your productivity (or lack thereof)

We all know dorm rooms are small, and if you’re a freshman, you may have to share a room with 1-2 other people. If you’re lucky you may have a newer suite or “apartment style” dorm, but, let’s be honest, real estate is still limited. You simply can’t fit everything you want into your room, and you’ll have to make some sacrifices and leave some things at home because they’re too bulky. Having a solution like MHL allows you to pair your phone with a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse to write your English essay or modify a spreadsheet for your Finance class on a bigger screen. You can also mirror your phone’s content to your computer display or TV to watch a webcast or review lectures.  

Share your Netflix and other streaming media services with your roomies

Host an 80’s movie night or watch the latest season of your favorite TV series with your college buddies on a low budget. Anyone with a subscription service (or everyone can throw in a buck, buck fifty a month) can display content on the big screen for all to enjoy. Now the only thing you have to worry about is (a) who is buying the pizza and (b) what are we watching and who controls the remote. You might want to check out the article that recently came out with the 100 best streaming movies on Netflix.  

This is NOT Video Gaming 101, its Mobile Gaming 2021 (or whatever year you will actually graduate)

Instead of an expensive PS4 or Xbox One, you can connect your mobile phone to any display in any location to play your favorite mobile games. Get the full gaming console experience without actually having a console.  Use any of the wireless gaming controllers out there for endless game play, all while your smartphone charges! MHL is “clutch” for those starving students that need to save their money for books and food, and…

OMG have you guys SEEN that video where the guy is turfing to that song? 

…here let me pull it up on my smartphone, and plug it into my TV using MHL so we can all watch!

http://youtu.be/St-BmIMMxjM?t=2m

View comments Tags: MHL gaming backtoschool

Jul 15 '13

Check out this guest blog from FilmOn. FilmOn offers subscription packages covering more than 500 TV channels including sports, news and entertainment from across the globe. Speaking of sports, the MHL team will be inside the gifting lounge of the ESPYs on Tuesday, July 16, in L.A. Get a behind-the-scenes preview of these sporting super stars before the big event, and let us know who gets your vote in each category and why, by following us on Twitter @MeetMHL and #mhlscores.

Read on to see the blog from FilmOn…

Karin Vogel, Director of Consumer Marketing, MHL, LLC

Guest Blog: FilmOn.TV Global Television, on TV

By Kim Hurwitz, SVP, Programming, FilmOn.TV Inc.

MHL, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways that you fill my Android heart! I can now get more than 500 channels from the FilmOn app on my phone simply by plugging into my MHL®-enabled TV set. Instead of having to buy, yet another, OTT set-top-box to get access to the world of FilmOn.TV on my large-screen, I can now plug-and-play and charge up my phone whilst doing so. Even more, I can use my TV’s remote control to stop, pause, play and rewind my favorite FilmOn content on thine smartphone.

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What, pray tell, is FilmOn? It’s the world’s largest IPTV platform offering more than 500 channels of linear and on demand TV channels. From Horror to News to Movies to Comedy to Kids to International to Sports, and a dozen other genres in between, FilmOn is a digital platform featuring content curated from around the world and available on all devices. Smartphones - check. Tablets - check. Computer - check. Television set - check…especially with MHL-enabled TV sets! Talk about device-agnostic.

Here’s the quick recipe so you too can enjoy this: MHL + FilmOn = Bliss

1. Take your Android smartphone (it’s probably already in your hand) and go here to download the FREE FilmOn app.

2. Charge your phone by connecting it to any MHL-enabled TV set. 

3. Watch FilmOn TV on your television!

4. Stir and repeat. Again and again.

For information on FilmOn, go to: http://www.filmon.com

FilmOn Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/FilmOn.TV

FilmOn Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/FilmOnTV

For information on MHL, go to: http://www.meetmhl.com

MHL Facebook page: https:www.facebook.com/meetmhl

MHL Twitter: https:www.twitter.com/meetmhl

View comments Tags: FilmOn Streaming mhl meetmhl

Jun 12 '13

Top Ten Reasons Smartphones Make Better Gifts Than Ties

By Masud Syed, Senior Technical Marketing Engineer, MHL, LLC

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To all you dads out there, how many of you have opened up a gift only to find a wildly patterned necktie or cologne that smells and sounds so outdoorsy it makes you feel like you have to go outside and chop wood with your shirt off to earn the privilege of wearing it. Let’s be honest, you don’t want another paisley tie…gadgets are what’s on your wish list. After all, with more smartphones and tablets being released that are packed with more processing power, better cameras, and sleeker designs, they make MUCH better gifts. Here’s why…drum roll please…

The Top Ten Awesome Things To Do With Your New Android Smartphone or Tablet

Number 10. No more surprise visits from your mother-in-law. Simply connect your MHL®-enabled device to a TV and she can see her darling grandchildren annnnny time she wants using Skype™ or a similar video chat service. 

Number 9. You always beat your friends’ scores when gaming on your mobile device; now show them how it’s done on the big screen.  Connect your MHL-enabled Android phone or tablet to your TV and wirelessly pair a controller for the ultimate gaming experience. There’s no lag and the TV charges back your mobile device while you play.

Number 8. Give your kids their own personal tutor. More and more education classes can be found online covering topics such as science, math and English. Instead of driving your kids to a tutoring center access these online programs on your MHL device and view it on a big screen to learn from the comforts of home. 

Number 7. The next time your know-it-all friend thinks he/she knows it all, prove them wrong.  Let’s say you are listening to the radio and they insist it’s one artist and you know it’s another just plug your Android device with MHL into the nearest TV, launch an app like Shazam® or SoundHound that will instantly identify the song, artist, along with any other metadata available for the track. Show them just how “wrong” they are when the “right” artist pops up on the TV screen. You’ve just earned yourself bragging rights for the rest of the day.

Number 6. Travel on the road –without the extra baggage! It’s hard enough that you’re away from your family when you’re on the road, but when you have to carry a bulky laptop and power cord life is even tougher. Why not just bring your smartphone or tablet, an MHL adapter, a roll-up keyboard and portable mouse, and connect it to a TV screen in your hotel room. Instantly transform any screen into a monitor to work your way!

Number 5. Work on your golf swing.  With MHL and a good MacGyvered tripod, you can record your long ball swing while your golf pro explains how to make it better.  Watch your progress on each swing in full HD on the nearest TV.  FOUR!!!

Number 4. Get a new first base coach.  If you happen to coach a little league, or act as assistant coach with all the rest of the parents, you can be the hero and show the umpire it was a BALL AND NOT A STRIKE.  If he still doesn’t agree, it’s a good thing you captured the entire play on your MHL phone! After the game, invite all of the parents over for a BBQ to replay that bad call and vent. 

Number 3. Show them you can rough it, without really roughing it.  Planning a camping trip with your family and not in the mood to repeatedly hear, “I’m bored, when are we going home?” Get a 3M projector, connect it to your MHL device and use your RV’s side wall to project the image. Get some camp chairs and snacks and have movie night in the great outdoors.

Number 2. Capture your kid’s first bike ride, marching band competition, beauty pageant, or soap box derby on your MHL phone. Instead of passing the phone around, share these moments with all of your loved ones on the big screen at the same time. They can enjoy seeing your boy scout win his pinewood derby, or your little star twirling in her ballerina skirt all in glorious HD, courtesy of your magical MHL device.

And the Number 1 reason why a smartphone is better than a tie is that many devices have MHL technology – in fact, there is an installed base of over 260 million products that enable all of these fun activities!

Consumer website: www.meetmhl.com

Business website: www.mhltech.org

 

View comments Tags: father's day mhltechnology mobilehighdefinitionlink

May 13 '13

iSwitched: How To Migrate Your Data From Your iPhone To Your New Android Samsung Galaxy S4

By Michael Bergen, Senior Partner Alliance Manager, MHL, LLC

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So, you’ve decided to join the thousands of iPhone users who (for whatever reason) are switching from an iPhone to an Android smartphone like the new, sleek Samsung Galaxy S® 4.  Don’t get me wrong, the iPhone has forever changed the smartphone world, but many iPhone users are feeling limited by their lack of connectivity to other devices.  They’re exasperatingly saying, “It’s time to find the right phone that appreciates me, my contacts, photos and data!”

If you’ve owned your iPhone for a while, you‘ve probably had that sinking feeling in your stomach about what’ll happen to your beloved apps, contacts, and data when you switch to an Android phone. Let’s admit it, it’s scary, but it doesn’t have to be with these tips and tricks. Let’s start with the music. If you have a ton of songs and want to transfer them to your Samsung phone, a free program called Samsung Kies, which is similar to iTunes, can easily import songs from iTunes. If you have another Android device, there are some limitations, but songs can be converted to MP3, then ripped by the computer and loaded onto the mobile device. There’s also a good chance you are using Spotify or Pandora by now, in which case, you may not have any local music files, and you just need to download the Spotify and/or Pandora® app to your Android device. 

Migrating your contacts and other data is possible, but it can be a little tricky. The first thing you’ll need to do is purchase a third party application like Easy Phone Sync, which was offered free by Samsung on the Galaxy S® 3.  There are other apps you can buy like WonderShare MobileTrans, but the free ones work fine. Once you have the app installed on your phones and computer, it’s really just a matter of connecting everything via USB and using your computer as “the dump truck” to transfer the data and contacts between phones.

Finally, apps can’t be migrated from iOS to an Android but if you have another iOS device like an iPad or iPod, you’ll be able to use the same apps on those devices.  Just use iTunes and download them to your other iOS device(s).  Also, many common apps are available for free download on Android like Facebook, Pandora, Instagram, Angry Birds™ and Subway Surfers to name a few. 

If you are still currently using your iPhone, and are still pondering the switch to the latest Android device, let me give you some additional food for thought and sweeten the pot to make the jump a little easier. Most of the latest Android phones come with MHL® technology already inside.  MHL gives you the ability to mirror high-definition movies, pictures, or music from your phone to your TV or car infotainment system, using the same connection you would normally use to charge your phone.  So what are you waiting for?

Learn more at:
Consumer website: www.meetmhl.com
Adopter website: www.mhltech.org

View comments Tags: android ios samsung

Apr 22 '13

MHL: Your Mobile Ticket to Cricket

By DVR Duddu, India Country Manager, Silicon Image (MHL Founder)

You can almost hear the excitement reverberating through all of India now that the Indian Premier League tournament is underway. Why, because cricket is the most popular sport in all of India – so much so that the allocated tickets for the ICC Champions Trophy 2013 match between India and Pakistan sold out within half an hour. Our country loves cricket so much that I vividly recall the 2011 Cricket World Cup finals when excitement for the game hit an all-time high, and articles mused that it was the one day where one billion people were expected to “play hooky.”

Nowadays, getting a ticket to one of these big games is nearly impossible, but that doesn’t mean that avid cricket watchers have to miss any of the action. With today’s mobile phone technology, sports fans can easily watch their favorite teams on their smartphones while riding in a taxi, bus, or even an auto rickshaw. Once cricket fans get to their final destination, they can continue watching the game on a bigger screen with MHL technology – and in high-definition!

MHL technology takes content and makes it accessible anytime, anywhere. It also makes watching cricket games a more social and fun experience. Open your favorite mobile app and check your fantasy scores, view the latest results and standings, and look at the photo streams from past games and highlights from matches from your mobile phone to the big screen – all while rousing your family and friends.

What’s really great about MHL is there is a good chance your current smartphone or tablet already has the technology built in. There is an installed base of over 220 million MHL-enabled products, but many people don’t know they have MHL devices that can easily connect to their HDTVs. With the right data plan and/or Wi-Fi access, the sports viewing possibilities are endless.

The MHL team is traveling around the globe to spread the word about the technology’s benefits – and the next stop is India where they will be heading to Bangalore to host a press event on April 23, 2013. Silicon Image is one of the Founders of the MHL Consortium and we’re looking forward to the MHL team speaking with local press about the technology, its future, and demonstrate all of the exciting use cases.

So what do you think about MHL technology and how would you use it? Let us know by leaving us a comment below.

View comments Tags: MHL Cricket World Cup

Apr 14 '13

MHL – Start Your Engines!

By Judy Chen, PhD, President of MHL, LLC

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I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve got a major smartphone addiction. These tiny devices carry our lives, from our favorite music and TV shows, to the pictures we capture and share, not to mention our email, Instagram feed and Facebook and Twitter pages. Our smartphones have become extensions of ourselves, reflecting our distinct tastes.

Next to my mobile phone, I can’t think of another thing I own that’s as closely tied to my identity except for my car. But cars are evolving. Increasingly, in the commercials I see, and in my conversations with other car owners, the infotainment system (a catchall term for the music and navigation system that keeps you entertained and informed while on the road), is becoming the centerpiece of the car. There’s just one problem. Cars are far behind smartphones.

Why can’t we design automotive infotainment systems to work with new apps and keep up with emerging technology? Or more simply stated, why can’t your car keep up with your smartphone?  The simple answer is that the product design cycles of embedded solutions in the car are much longer than smartphone design cycles. Due to the vastly disparate life cycle and development times of smartphone (nine months development with a less than 18 month life cycle) and car infotainment systems (more than three year development, with a more than 10 year life cycle), the infotainment system constantly faces the risk of being obsolete by the time it reaches the market.

MHL technology changes this equation by enabling the connection of the smartphone to the car. Now drivers can access their smartphone applications on their automotive infotainment systems while charging their smartphones and not having to worry about a drained phone battery at the end of the trip.  Utilize map services and GPS technologies already in most smartphones, stream music stored on your smartphone from Pandora or Google Music, even watch Netflix or locally stored movies in on the rear seat displays, (at up to 1080p), and more!

When you think about it, the smartphone connected car is a low-cost alternative for automotive manufacturers to offer in-dash apps, GPS, music, and video streaming services, without having to commit to yesterday’s technologies. In the past 18 months, MHL technology has become the de facto standard for transmitting A/V from mobile devices, with an installed base of more than 220 million products. That makes MHL a compelling solution for the connection between the mobile phone and the car. 

Of course, connecting the phone to the car isn’t anything new; in fact the industry has coined a term for it – the “Connected Car.” What makes MHL technology unique is that it offers a solution that enables the application processing and rendering of video and audio to be done on the phone.  Baseband high-definition audio (7.1 surround sound) and video (up to 1080p60) signals are then sent to the infotainment system, while a bi-directional communication channel enables control and security. By keeping the processing and rendering on the phone, without the need for any additional processing in the head unit, MHL technology is able to address the fundamental issue of connecting two ecosystems with such different development lifecycles as the smartphone and the head unit. The simple architecture of a MHL connected car enables consumers to access smartphone applications directly from the car’s head unit while also reducing time-to-market and implementation risks for the manufacturer

If you’re attending the SAE 2013 World Congress & Exhibition in Detroit, I invite you to join me on Tuesday, April 16 in Room No. D0-04AB at 9:30 a.m. for Session AE307: Multi-Media Systems. I will discuss how MHL creates a compelling solution for integrating the phone into the infotainment experience, highlighting the benefits of its market leadership, longevity, and ease of implementation.

The organizers of the session include Thomas Hermann, Ford Motor Company; Robert Klacza, Chrysler Group LLC; and Richard S. Stroud, Stroud Audio Inc.  Hope to see you there!

Learn more at:

Consumer website: www.meetmhl.com

Adopter website: www.mhltech.org

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