KYMCO turns to CES to reveal Noodoe scooter app
The 2017 Consumer Electronic Show (CES) is by far one of the most popular shows held at the Las Vegas Convention Center. In its 50th year, CES 2017 showcased more than 3,800 exhibiting companies and had a footprint of 2.6 million square feet. For this record-breaking year, CES reported that attendance was 175,000. The show covers a large variety of technology, from smart watches to smart cars, and now, customizing the powersports rider’s experience.
KYMCO, the Taiwan-based brand that began its operations in 1964, chose to debut its new Noodoe technology app at this year’s CES, a first for the company. KYMCO USA’s marketing manager Peter Jones said that CES was the perfect fit for the brand to be on the edge of technology and seize an opportunity for increased exposure.
Allen Ko, chairman of KYMCO Group Taiwan, presented the Internet of Vehicle (IoV) technology to a full room of media writers from around the world. “The CES show is about technology and innovation. In the past, we were just a scooter manufacturer, but now we have Noodoe and it really fit into the seam of CES. We decided we should come here and let everybody know about this new concept — the right concept,” he said.
Noodoe, KYMCO’s exclusive IoV, is an in-dash featured app that automatically connects via Bluetooth to a user’s smartphone. Noodoe gets its namesake from KYMCO’s partner, Noodoe, which is also a Taiwanese company, with a rich history of innovation and technology. KYMCO and Noodoe worked to develop the product for two years.
“Noodoe is a really innovative product. It points in a totally different direction compared to what you see in the market these days. Most people try to empower their vehicle, we try to celebrate the person — it’s a different approach,” Ko said. “If you look carefully, you will notice that basically all the features have nothing to do with the vehicle, but it has everything to do with the user. Everybody pays attention to the vehicles, but not the user of them. Ultimately you have to give the best user experience and that’s what we really care about.”
The Noodoe platform includes features such as clock, weather, compass, speedometer, Find My Ride and a personal notifications function. The Find My Ride feature can automatically send the scooter’s most recent parking location to the user’s smartphone and through GoogleMaps, will lead them back to the scooter. The technology works in two separate modes, ride and stop. There are three buttons on the right handle, up and down arrows for moving through features and a red button for switching between modes.
Once the KYMCO rider comes to a complete stop, outside of the driving lane, Noodoe can be switched into the stop mode. While in the stopped position, the dashboard will display notifications from the user’s cellphone, including calls, messages, news and social media. Also, the user can manage which notifications they would like to receive through the app on their cellphone.
“Noodoe will definitely distinguish KYMCO from other brands,” Ko said. “At least for a while, we will be the only brand that offers these types of features and keeping users connected the whole time. I think it will be very welcomed by the consumers.”
Noodoe’s features can be personalized with designs created by each individual user and shared with others in the Noodoe cloud. The user can select any image to be used as a feature background, from a picture of friends and family to a favorite location. Users can also choose backgrounds and designs made by others who have uploaded their work to the cloud, and they can follow artists they like.
“Personalization is very important part of our everyday life,” he said. “You see people modify their bikes or their cars; everybody wants to do something to show they are different. Every one of our customers is unique and has different likes. They want to find a new way to self-express and define who they are — why not with scooters?”
Ko says the technology, first unveiled at EICMA in Milan, has been a hit among both dealers and consumers since its initial launch.
“So far, we have received very good reactions from everyone, so first I think this is going to elevate our brand reach,” said Ko, who looks forward to the day when every KYMCO scooter is integrated with Noodoe technology. For the U.S. market, Noodoe will be available in 2018 on the Like 150i scooter, with a later model coming out in early 2019.
“It’s a scooter world outside of America, and today’s interaction and integration of the global community is engaging the United States in a cultural shift. Noodoe is the personal media of KYMCO scooters, engaging in the international language of emotion and images,” Jones added.