Christmas Story Series – Featuring Wirelinq

An Unexpected Present

It all began days before. Mia’s mom called just to say hi and ask about Mia’s week. Eventually, the conversation drifted to how nice it was to see Brian and her for Thanksgiving, but ended with Mia’s mom admitting that her plans fell through with Mia’s aunt in Carson City. She was alone for the holidays. Brian was not prepared to take another trip up to South Lake Tahoe, especially when the snow was falling hard—but now it wasn’t an option. Mia wasn’t going to leave her mom alone during Christmas. They were going and needed to be ready in three days.

Brian was not ready for a road trip but made his best effort for his mother in law. He was able to work a half-day on the day before Christmas Eve, so they were able to leave before the rush hour traffic in Bay area.

Brian met Mia five years ago while vacationing in Lake Tahoe with his buddy Rommel. They were spending an extended weekend fishing and hanging out. Mia was there visiting her mom. They got talking about Tahoe and eventual discovered one another’s passion for skiing. Brian discovered Mia lived in and worked in Oakland, so weeks later Brian ended up calling Mia from the number she gave him. They hit it off soon afterwards. Now, Tahoe meant something special to the both of them. It wasn’t just Mia’s home; it was what brought them both together.

GROM Audio Holiday

In love pair on ski vacation

Though he really loved Mia, Brian really didn’t want to go up there without a lot of preparation. For one thing, it was snowing and he hated driving through the snow. Another thing—and most importantly—he had to cancel plans with his family in San Bruno. He understood why they were going, but it still irked him — especially since it felt so last minute.

Mia knew he would be irritated. It was obvious to her even before she said anything. He didn’t like change and hated last minute plans. It wasn’t the way his brain was wired. She learned this about him long ago. It bothered her a lot sometimes. But Mia loved him so much, she was willing to accept that was just the way he was as a person. She also could tell because he always became quieter when he was frustrated. He was really silent right before they got on the road.

Mia realized that he was making a sacrifice canceling their plans with his family during the holidays to help her and her mom out. He also knew that he got on really well with her mom, and it work out once they got there. She also knew what made Brian happy. Music—and that button was easy to push.

Brian used his Motorola G smart phone in his car to play music. He splurged and bought a massive SD card with over 80 gigabytes of RAM to store his entire music collection. Mia didn’t necessarily share his music taste for a sizable part of his collection but decided to let him choose the music on the way to Tahoe. Also, she had a surprise for him.

One of her past times was browsing through Kickstarter.com and looking at all the stuff being developed. Occasionally, she would fund some project that caught her eye, but mostly it was just to ogle all the stuff being develop. Once, she came across a company called GROM Audio and really like their idea behind Wirelinq cable, which is a USB cable with awesome technology. Not only does it charge the phone and allow users to stream content from their phone, but it also allows Android users to read meta data on their car infotainment or stereo systems — data like song title,  song track number, and so on. Wirelinq also allows owners to control functionality of their phone via their car controls.

Mia was intrigued and curious how GROM was able to develop a USB cable that seems to provide so much functionality for Android users. She read GROM’s proposal in-depth and discovered that Wirelinq has a smart chip with GROM’s proprietary algorithm inside its USB connector. Using Android Open Accessory 2.0 protocol, Wirelinq enables a phone to communicate to the car stereo easily. As a result of this “handshake”, a user’s stereo is able to play music directly from your phone, as well as display text, titles and cover art.

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She eventually bought a prototype of the device for Brian and was preparing to give it to him for Christmas. Now that they were on this unexpected trip, Mia surprised him while they were getting lunch at Black Bear Diner in Davis on the way to her mother’s house.

Brian didn’t believe it. He didn’t think that Wirelinq would work.  Admittedly, he did own a GROM Audio car kit with a previous vehicle. He loved the system. It allowed his phone to become an extension of his stereo system. But that kit had to be installed behind his dashboard. He didn’t believe that some special USB cable could offer him many of the features he had available through his car kit. He was really excited about Mia’s gift but was also doubtful it would work.

When they got back in the car, he quickly hooked it up. Sure enough, he had access to the media on his phone. They got back on the highway, and he started listening Green Day.

By the time they got to the mountains, it had already begun to snow. Mia had dosed off, and Brian was trying to stay awake. He was getting bored with his music collection and decide to see if he could get Truckee radio on his stereo but there was no reception. Brian decided to just drive in silence. Mia was asleep anyways.

Slowly, the sunlight vanished as the snow continued to fall. Brian’s car was struggling a little bit and somewhere near Donner Pass, traffic started to back up. Brian made a colorful remark under his breath and began trying to get Truckee radio again on his stereo. The backup could easily be due to a wreck further down the road. There were several lanes on the highway close to the pass, but the route grew narrow further on. It could also be traffic congestion traveling into the basin area. Brian needed to know.

GROM Audio Holiday

Close-up of Snowy Highway from Above on a Cold Blizzard Day of Winter

This is when he had a thought. Maybe he could use Dashlinq Web Radio on his smart phone to access Truckee radio. He went ahead and tried it through his stereo, just to see what would happen. Sure enough, he got to his Web Radio app and was able to listen to KTKE Truckee. He was happy to just get some signal bars on his phone—that was awesome.

But what wasn’t awesome was that the traffic was part of a rush to get down to the basin. Luckily, KTKE was playing Brian’s favorite program tonight, so it kept him focused and awake. Soon, Mia woke up, and Brian gave her an update. She shared some of her colorful words with him before thanking him for the news.

She was concerned that her mom might start worrying when they didn’t show up around the time Mia had mentioned. She’d called her mom when they were at the diner and said they’d be there no more than two to two and half hours. Staring down the highway with glowing headlights creating a swirling stream of illumination down the mountain slope, Mia realized they had at least four to five hours ahead of them on the road.

Brian suggested calling her since they had enough signal to get Truckee radio on his phone. Mia called her mom on her own phone and when she picked up, her mom assumed they had just parked. Mia explained they were parked—in the middle of highway traffic on the side of a Mountain. After sharing some colorful words, her mom conveyed that she would try to stay up as long as she could to wait for them.  However, if the lights in the house weren’t on, Mia could check under the welcome mat for the spare key.

It took them another three hours before passing through the South Lake Tahoe city limits. Brian decided to stop at a drive-thru before they pulled into his mother-in-law’s driveway. The both sighed in relieve when they saw the lights were still on.  Instantaneously, Brian removed his Android phone from the Wirelinq cable.  Tired yet somewhat relaxed by the music that was playing, Brian brought himself out of the car, followed by Mia who was carrying the drive-thru burgers. Brian grabbed the shakes. They walked quietly up to the front door where Mia’s mom greeted them.

Mia was relieved that not only did they made the trip safely, but Brian seemed be in good spirits still.  She sure was glad they had Wirelinq to help them through the drive.  Mia’s mom give both of them big hugs. She welcomed them inside and persistently invited them to the dining room where hot roast beef and mash potatoes awaited them. After getting inside, Mia’s mom asked what they bought. Brian softly told her it breakfast for tomorrow. She put the drive-thru in the refrigerator and everyone sat down to enjoyed a hot meal with cold milkshakes.

Bring us on the road with you.

For more information on our latest Wirelinq smart USB cable, check out on our store: http://gromaudio.com/wirelinq/.