If you use a device like the BlackBerry PlayBook, you're already familiar with the notion, and benefits, of FOTA. In case you're wondering, that's short for Firmware Over The Air. (Still confused? Simply insert the word "Updates" after Firmware. The meaning becomes much clearer.)
Granted, FOTA isn't the sexiest acronym out there. But it's becoming an increasingly important one, especially in the field of automotive infotainment.
The problem, of course, is obsolescence. An in-car infotainment system might be super cool today, but can become super outdated in just 2 or 3 years. Imagine, for instance, if your infotainment system had smartphone connectivity, but could only talk to smartphones that shipped before 2010.
FOTA, along with good system design, offers a way to avoid this problem and to keep infotainment systems fresh with new features and services.
So why am I bringing this up? Because I just read a blog post by my colleague Andy Gryc on the growing role of FOTA in automotive. It's called Fill the Tank, Check the Oil, and Update the Software, and you can read it here.