ZTE has announced a new version of the innovative Car Mode application for its range of Android devices, allowing users to use voice commands to unlock the device, search for directions and control music.
With in-car connectivity a big theme at this week's CES show, ZTE has boosted the Nuance-powered app with voice biometrics technology meaning devices can easily be unlocked while focusing on the road.
The improved driving companion app will now recognise each user's voiceprint and will unlock to general or child mode, without the need to insert passwords and pin numbers while driving.
Also new to the Car Mode app is the ability to use voice commands for navigation. Drivers will be able to ask for directions to addresses or points of interest or local amenities, with the results loading in Google Maps and presented with voice-powered turn-by-turn navigation.
The new functionality doesn't end there. There's also a music barge in mode, which allows users to ask the device to Play, Pause, Stop, Play Next Song or Play Previous song.
ZTE's announcement comes after Google announced an Open Auto Alliance aimed at having Android-based connectivity built into new vehicles as standard.
Among Google's parters are Audi, GM, Honda, Hyundai, and chip manufacturer Nvidia, as it seeks to provide a safe, driving-optimised was to integrate our favourite smartphone features into the car.
Of ZTE's latest bid to do the same Zeng Xuezhong, executive VP of mobile devices, said:."Voice biometrics, natural language navigation and music barge-in are breakthroughs in handset-based telematics, giving people the connectivity they expect as part of a mobile lifestyle, while minimizing dangerous in-car distractions.
"Nuance's advanced voice technology provides us with diversified and innovative speech capabilities for our mobile devices, giving users truly intelligent, safe and great mobile experiences."
Sign up to receive daily breaking news, reviews, opinion, analysis, deals and more from the world of tech.
A technology journalist, writer and videographer of many magazines and websites including T3, Gadget Magazine and TechRadar.com. He specializes in applications for smartphones, tablets and handheld devices, with bylines also at The Guardian, WIRED, Trusted Reviews and Wareable. Chris is also the podcast host for The Liverpool Way. As well as tech and football, Chris is a pop-punk fan and enjoys the art of wrasslin'.