STAMFORD, Conn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Harman International Industries, Inc. (NYSE: HAR), the premium global audio and infotainment group, said today that it has acquired Aha Mobile, Inc., a leading provider of on-demand mobile and location-based Internet content services. Based in Palo Alto, California, Aha Mobile is a pioneer in converting Web-based content to streaming mobile radio that allows users to safely access their favorite news, entertainment and social media via in-vehicle infotainment systems or smart phone.
“Delivering safe and convenient Internet access to mobile users is one of the biggest challenges facing the infotainment industry,” said Dinesh C. Paliwal, HARMAN Chairman, President and CEO. “In particular, the rapid growth of social networking through platforms such as Facebook®, Twitter® and others must be carefully managed in the automotive environment to prevent driver distraction. This transformative technology will enable HARMAN to extend its leadership by dramatically expanding the information available to today’s connected generation while providing a safe, interactive experience.”
Aha Mobile was launched in 2008 by a group of Web and multimedia veterans with a shared passion for delivering an “always-on,” connected lifestyle experience via dynamic audio content that originates on the Internet. The company’s robust audio publishing platform blends user preferences, behavior, and predictive search technologies to deliver a customized information experience that even adapts based on the user’s expected traffic corridor. Integrated speech-to-text technology allows users to verbally interact via social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook or select from an expected 1000+ channels of Web-based audio information.
“Streaming, on-demand Web content technology is a natural complement to HARMAN’s premium infotainment systems, and we look forward to expanding the reach of this innovative platform to delight new customers,” said Paliwal. “We will deploy this new technology to strengthen our global leadership as the provider of choice for rich, interactive infotainment on the road, around the home, or on the go.”
Aha Mobile launched its “Aha Radio” application for the Apple iPhone® earlier this year, which has since become popular among mobile users for sharing real-time, location-based traffic reports, entertainment and social network information. In addition to planned integration with HARMAN systems, the Company will continue working with third parties to enable customized Web content on their products by leveraging the Aha platform.
HARMAN (www.harman.com) designs, manufactures and markets a wide range of audio and infotainment solutions for the automotive, consumer and professional markets – supported by 15 leading brands including AKG®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon® and Mark Levinson®. The Company is admired by audiophiles across multiple generations and supports leading professional entertainers and the venues where they perform. More than 20 million automobiles on the road today are equipped with HARMAN audio and infotainment systems. HARMAN has a workforce of about 11,000 people across the Americas, Europe and Asia, and reported sales of $3.4 billion for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2010. The Company’s shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol NYSE:HAR.