Gracenote Teams up With Parrot to Enhance the Hands-Free In-Car Entertainment Experience

Deal Rounds Out Year of Momentum in Automotive for Gracenote; Company to Showcase Concept 'Car of the Future' at Consumer Electronics Show

Jan 06, 2011, 03:01 ET from Gracenote

LAS VEGAS, Jan. 6, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Consumer Electronics Show (CES) -- Gracenote® today announced it has signed an agreement with Paris-based Parrot, a global leader in wireless devices for mobile phones, to provide its digital file recognition and speech-enhancing technologies for Parrot ASTEROID, a new connected car stereo that delivers an unparalleled hands-free user experience for accessing music collections in the car.

Parrot ASTEROID uses Gracenote's MediaVOCS® and Playlist Plus™ technologies to provide drivers a safe and easy way to manage and enjoy music on the open road.  Gracenote's Playlist Plus identifies digital songs on connected devices (i.e. iPod) using available metadata. It also recognizes inconsistent spellings, repetitions and nicknames in a digital music collection, such as "The Stones" and "The Rolling Stones."

MediaVOCS delivers highly accurate voice recognition capabilities for music search, navigation and playback, letting drivers access bands, artists and albums with hard-to-pronounce names, irregular spellings and nicknames.  For instance, MediaVOCS can recognize an artist nickname like "The Boss" for Bruce Springsteen, or an unobvious pronunciation like "Sade", or an abbreviated artist name like "CCR" for Creedence Clearwater Revival.  MediaVOCS and Playlist Plus work seamlessly with each other to enable a simpler and safer music management and enjoyment experience for drivers.

Parrot ASTEROID represents the first after-market product to feature Gracenote MediaVOCS. It allows car owners to upgrade their entertainment systems with enhanced voice recognition, music search and navigation technology commonly found in many new cars with higher-end infotainment and navigation systems.

"By using Gracenote's technology we were able to greatly improve the accuracy, performance, latency and ready time of the speech recognition capabilities for ASTEROID," said Frederic Albinet, product marketing manager, automotive business unit, Parrot.  "We conducted extensive testing of MediaVOCS versus standard speech recognition capabilities and we found a full 30 percent improvement of artist name recognition over other technology offerings.  We are very impressed with the technology and for us, choosing to work with Gracenote was an easy decision."  

2010 Momentum in Automotive

Gracenote gained substantial momentum in the automotive sector last year with its technology now integrated into 16 different OEMS, including the top five car manufacturers on the market.  As of the end of 2010 more than 18 million car audio units with embedded Gracenote technology have been sold since the company's inception.

Also in 2010, Gracenote was tapped to be the global entertainment technology provider for Ford MyFord Touch™ system.  Leveraging its Playlist Plus, MediaVOCS, and Cover Art products, Ford and Lincoln drivers are able to experience exceptional voice and graphical control over their media on iPods, MP3 players, USB and SD cards as well as Bluetooth audio devices.  In addition, Gracenote announced its MusicID®-Stream technology would power the Mercedes Benz-developed  smart drive app for the iPhone in the smart fortwo car.  By allowing consumers to identify what is playing on the radio it is a step in the direction to enabling commerce in the car. 

Gracenote Showcases Concept 'Car of the Future' at CES 2011

Gracenote will demonstrate a concept 'Car of the Future' featuring a host of its connected car technologies at CES 2011 in its booth No. 31106  in South Hall 3 of the LVCC.  The car will feature integration of Cloud-based music streaming for seamless and safe discovery and enjoyment of music, multi-screen video and music exploration applications, and imagery for every source including music imagery slideshows synchronized to music.  For more information or to schedule a demonstration and briefing at the show, please contact Veronica Skelton at 415.342.3435 or

About Gracenote

A pioneer in the digital media industry, Gracenote combines information, technology, services and applications to create ingenious entertainment solutions for the global market.  From media management, enrichment and discovery products to content identification technologies, Gracenote allows providers of digital media products and the content community to make their offerings more powerful and intuitive, enabling superior consumer experiences. The company's solutions integrate the broadest, deepest, and highest quality global metadata and enriched content with an infrastructure that services billions of searches a month from thousands of products used by hundreds of millions consumers. Gracenote's customers include the biggest names in the consumer electronics, mobile, automotive, software and Internet industries.  The company's partners in the entertainment community include major music publishers and labels, prominent independents and movie studios.  Gracenote, a wholly owned subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America, is headquartered in Emeryville, California.

Gracenote and MusicID are registered trademarks of Gracenote, Inc. All other names are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of their respective owners.

For More Information Contact:

Veronica Skelton

Concept Communications for Gracenote


Graham McKenna

Director of Marketing Communications, Gracenote


Vanessa Loury

PR Director, Group - Marketing Department, Parrot

33 (0)1 48 03 60 58

SOURCE Gracenote