I arrived slightly too early at LeWeb this morning, before they were really ready. People were running around still setting up, on stage, rehearsals were taking place, running through demos and videos, some of the ‘top secret’ that we were asked not to mention as they are big reveals for later in the day.
I’m predicting coffee problems though, there’s 4 small Nespresso machines in the main area, serving up expresso. I guess it tastes good (I never do expresso unless forced to) but I’d prefer big coffee! And service will be slow. But that’s the only niggle so far, wifi is fast, I have a seat and a table for blogging (although I’m going to have to continue to get here early for that, as only 60 seats set up), food is good and I’m expecting the usual mixture of big speeches and interesting interludes. As well as one of the best places to connect with the best tech and web people in Europe.
I’m here at LeWeb in Paris for the next few days, again as an official blogger. Expect the usual set of liveblogs from the main stage, plus the odd tweet and photo.
The event kicked off for us bloggers last night with a reception held at the L’Atrium Renault, on the Avenue des Champs-Élysées. It got a thumbs up from me by providing chocolate, champagne and a fast car in the form of a Red Bull Show car but the main purpose of the evening was to launch Renault’s new in-car innovation, what they are calling the RLink. It’s an integrated touch-screen tablet for their new cars, starting with the Clio and Zoe, providing all the usual interfaces with the car, navigation aids etc as well as being connected to the web and the ability to connect with your smartphone. But the reason for launching this at LeWeb, and what makes it unusual, is that the tablet is open for third-arty apps to be developed. They’re hoping the start-up/app developers will try some new things and provide useful apps for the car user.
I asked the head Renault person there, Patric, if they had already built the driving app to control the car from your mobile and he just laughed. But in serious, they are looking at the things like being able to connect to car park data etc so that the car will be able to direct you to empty spaces – or even drive itself. Looks an intereasting opportunity to build something in a new space. What would you like to see?
Update: Here’s a video Renault have pulled together