Buttoning Up: OnStar Gets New Look in 2013 Models
Buttons Sport Redesign; Camaro Gets New Frameless Mirror
DETROIT, 2012-08-20 – With all the new features inside 2013 General
Motors models, new OnStar buttons may not be the first thing drivers
notice. However, the first OnStar redesign of what customers have seen
in years will reflect more than just new logos.
"While the new buttons are cool, it's what's behind the button
that is most impressive," said Douglas McKibbon, engineering
group manager, OnStar Hardware. "The buttons were changed for a
few different reasons, but one was to better reflect the software
updates that have gone into this current generation of OnStar."
Voice Command Button
The button previously dubbed the "Hands-Free Calling button"
– a white phone with a circle around it – is now the "Voice
Command button," featuring a general speech icon. The new button
allows for more than just placing or receiving hands-free phone calls.
It allows drivers to access a saved route; check Hands-Free Calling
minutes or access OnStar Virtual Advisor, which includes saved
MapQuest directions or traffic, weather and stock updates. And it will
still allow a driver to place or receive a phone call.
"Many drivers are unaware of all that OnStar has to offer,"
said McKibbon. "We feel this new look will better shows the
breadth of our voice-based services."
The Voice Command button also better integrates with infotainment
systems like Chevrolet MyLink, Cadillac CUE and Buick/GMC IntelliLink.
These touch-screen infotainment systems offer access to OnStar's voice
command services by pressing the same logo featured on the Voice
Command button. Pressing this logo on the infotainment screen or
pressing it on the rearview mirror will access these service options
on the screen or through voice commands.
The Emergency button, previously represented by a white cross embedded
in a red circle, is now the internationally recognized "SOS"
symbol, reflective of OnStar's upcoming expansion into new global
markets. The white cross does not always represent an emergency,
depending on the country.
"As we continue to expand, we want to make sure that our product
and our service stay consistent throughout all markets," said
Terry Inch, vice president, Sales, Marketing and New Business
Development. "Emergency service is a staple of OnStar and that's
why we moved to a globally recognizable symbol."
OnStar and GM researched proposals across many different countries to
identify the appropriate universal symbol.
The blue OnStar button, which serves as the emblem for the 16-year-old
telematics company, switched to the company's new logo which was
introduced in late 2010. The new logo was introduced at the company's
Relaunch event in September 2010 along with a pledge to focus on
"responsible connectivity." Some GM models and OnStar FMV
already use the new logo.
Camaro Frameless Mirror
Drivers of some 2013 Camaro models will have touch-screen access on
the sports car's frameless mirror that pays homage to both the classic
Camaros and today's tech-savvy driver. The OnStar buttons on the
Camaro mirror have electrochromic capabilities, which allow the
buttons to light up when touched and dim shortly afterwards. The
mirror itself is also auto-dimming, allowing it to compensate for the
amount of light inside the vehicle. It comes standard on the Camaro
2SS, 2LT, ZL1 coupe and convertible. GM is considering adding the
frameless mirror for other makes and models later.
Multiple research tests seeking the most attractive and most
functional symbols that would be easily understood went into the logo
redesign involving GM employees and owners of existing OnStar-equipped
vehicles. Research consisted of pen-and-paper studies, where
participants evaluated options on paper; web-based clinics and
prototype clinics, where participants evaluated the logos on physical
The new OnStar buttons will be rolled out on most 2013 GM models with
some based on vehicle program timing.
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