A few weeks ago we showed you Vroom, an iPhone app intended to make your 'Fiat sound like a Ferrari'. You guys lapped it up - the game quickly shot up the iTunes Entertainment charts to become the #1 app in over 10 countries worldwide. But behind the scenes, Vroom creators RjDj were hard at work creating an app that would go far beyond an in-car quick laugh. Unknown to us, CEO Michael Breidenbrucker was at the end of completing an ambitious project that would analyse any car's movement to generate music in real-time based on driving technique, speed and direction. The project, codenamed 'Dynamic Drive', was the team's venture into the busy world of car audio entertainment, backed by Michael's love for music after founding the popular music service Last.fm in 2002. For RjDj, the future of sound in cars is a particularly current topic given the popularity of electric and hybrid vehicles with an increasing number of sensors built into them. But at the beginning of 2013, the team made a deadly mistake. "Earlier in the year, we gave Volkswagen a demo of our fully-working, reactive driving music app in strict confidence", explains Breidenbrucker. The idea was to give one of the largest manufacturers in the world a glimpse into the future; where car entertainment systems would be able to detect driving styles, speed and direction and provide a resulting soundtrack aimed at revolutionising the driver experience. "Weeks of no contact and no reply after our pitch to Volkswagen turned into months of wait. Then in late October, we received an email from Volkswagen to say they would be making the app, but not with us, the original concept pitchers." Just three weeks after RjDj released their Dynamic Drive promo video, Volkswagen launched their juggernaut "GTI + Underworld - Play The Road Official Video" (below). In five days, the video clocked 300,000 views and today the trailer has been watched 1.2m times. "We are obviously very disappointed", says Breidenbrucker, "We spent over a year developing the prototype, working with composers and musicians. However, we would still very much love to cooperate with VW or another manufacturer but, if not, we will certainly be first to release our app. I guess the only option we'll have is to beat them in the market." Is this a case of Goliath stifling David out of existence? You decide...
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