How the wisdom of crowds can give brands a social purpose

The internet is harnessing crowds like never before. Nowhere is this more evident than in the recent crowdfunding movement. Sites like Lending Club, Indiegogo and Kickstarter show just how powerful crowds can be in turning ideas and dreams into reality — sometimes paying dividends at the same time.

How the cloud is bringing new meaning, choices to in-vehicle ‘infotainment’

The trend is obvious — most new cars come with large flat-screen displays embedded in dashboards, replacing CD drives, tape decks, and analog controls. Some cars have moved toggles to touchscreens, others have created their own GPS systems. But outside of proprietary creations by brand, carmakers are taking advantage of the cloud and its vibrant arc of entertainment offerings to make driving a richer experience than ever before.

Ford’s Sync in-car computer now inside 4M cars, adds on-demand NPR and navigation apps

Ford’s in-car computer, Sync, is now installed in 4 million vehicles. To celebrate the milestone, the car company has added new abilities including hands-free voice navigation from Telenav and on-demand access to National Public Radio programs. The company announced the milestone and new apps at the Consumer Electronics Show Monday in Las Vegas.

The top 5 CES trends that will matter in 2012

If you couldn’t tell by the avalanche of product news hitting VentureBeat over the past few weeks, the next Consumer Electronics Show is almost upon us. The annual trade show, which has been held in Las Vegas for more than a decade, is where many of the world’s biggest electronics companies debut their new products, announce major news, and desperately try to remind us that they exist.