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/.

Christmas Story Series – Featuring VLine Infotainment System

New Year Festivities

After a long week, Bill was excited. His friend Rommel invited him for five days in the valley at his loft in Los Angeles.  New Year’s plans had been decided.  They were to meet up with Rommel’s friend and finish off the year with a final countdown in Hollywood.  It would be the time of his life.

GROM Audio Blog Holiday

Bill left his apartment in San Diego, hoping to miss the traffic. But the traffic found him. He had signed up to beta test GROM’s new idea, VLine, and it was a great chance to try it out. VLine allowed the owner to  to upgrade the car’s infotainment system to the latest mobile and car technology, and get the access to Google and Waze maps for navigation, and Web Radio, Google Music, Spotify and other apps for in-car entertainment, right from his Lexus IS350 car stereo screen. . Bill had a chance to test VLine for a week already, so he became accustomed in using it.

Using Vline‘s voice control, he was able to access the latest version of Google Maps and plot the quickest route through traffic. But according to Google maps, the quickest route to Los Angeles was on Highway 5, which was clogged until he’d reached San Juan Capistrano. He could clearly see on his infotainment screen the red line reaching down to Oceanside and up into the foot of Orange County.

While puttering in traffic on the 5, Bill used his VLine infotainment system to pull up Spotify and play something relaxing. This kept him mellow for forty minutes until he decided to call Rommel and give him an update. Rommel wasn’t around so he left a message. Bill spent the rest of the time sifting through traffic as the road clog continued to maintain its lack of fluidity.

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By the time Bill was able to pull free of the traffic jam, which last well pasts Capistrano and into the bowels of Orange County, he got a call back from Rommel who told him to meet him and some friends at restaurant called Cascabel in North Hollywood for dinner. Bill used VLine voice control for navigation to get directions from Google and began a journey through Highway 210 then the 134.

By the time he got there, Bill was tired and starving. Unfortunately, Rommel and group had made a change and we’re a couple of blocks away at The Eatery. Bill was a little irritated but Rommel had a beer waiting for him, and Bill was able to order a cheese burger, which is what he’d been craving all day. Afterwards, they hit a bar down the street and killed some more time and relaxed. Later, Bill headed back to Rommel’s place and got some shut eye.

The next day, they spent down in Venus Beach, cruising around and checking out the scene. The sun was raining heat on the concrete. They parked near the Santa Monica Boardwalk and hit the concrete tiles.  With the temperate climate, the beach was packed with travelers, tourists and regulars.

GROM Audio Blog Holiday

They talked about plans for the next day with Rommel’s friends. Where they could go and what parties were happening on Sunset Boulevard. Rommel wanted to just cruise around  and see what was happening. Bill on the other hand wanted to check out this new gastropub that recently opened. Earlier, he had heard about something big they were doing for the final countdown. Rommel did not seem too thrilled about it.

The next day, they picked up Rommel’s friends to hang out.  They drove all around Santa Monica to some local favorites.  As evening fell, they headed toward the strip and drove until dusk fell on Hollywood. Rommel was looking through Bill’s Google Play collection on his VLine infotainment system. They listened to some Trip Hop while searching the strip.  It did not take long before Bill decided to find parking a couple of blocks off the strip to continue their search by foot.  He was the designated driver for the evening and wanted to minimize cruising by car as much as possible.

They found a lounge that everyone agreed upon on Vine and Hollywood Blvd. The place was hopping, and the three friends ordered some drinks to start the night. Bill had some light snacks.  He had to be responsible after all.  After some time of hanging out and giving Bill a hard time, Rommel decided to give Bill a break.  They headed to Avenue A as Bill had suggested earlier.  By the time Bill got them there, Rommel and his friends sobered up a bit, and they were ready for round two.  The new gastropub was by the beach and with a patio to boot.  Rommel and his friends found an open table and they toasted the night away.  Bill went off on his own in search of the patio and found that it was nicely decorated with red and white lights.  There was also some light music.  Pretty soon, Bill found himself dancing and having a good time.  As midnight approached, Rommel and his friends found Bill outside and they wrapped up the year counting down together.

GROM Audio Blog Holiday

The next morning back at the loft, Rommel was no where to be seen.  Bill took advantage of this opportune solo time to finish his packing. His friend, however, did not recover from the previous night’s festivities until well into the afternoon.  They spent the rest of the day chilling and chatting as they watched Hal’s Food Adventures on WebTV before Bill decided to head back.  He sure was glad to have VLine to keep him company for the long drive ahead.

Bring us on the road with you.

For more information on our VLine infotainment system product line, check out our store: http://gromaudio.com/store/vline/.

Christmas Story Series – Featuring Dashlinq

The Road Most Traveled

The simple truth is that Anna’s mom lived five hours from San Francisco. John has taken the trip with Anna many times and now that they are getting married next spring, it was especially important to get everything right for the holidays. The packing had taken a while, especially preparing the gifts.

GROM Audio Blog Holiday

By the time they got on the road, it was 10:30am. Anna had paid for a GROM car kit several months earlier so, with the use of the GROM DashLinQ app, John was able to quickly access this Google Maps and get a route to Anna’s mom’s house. Anna had staid up late the night before, so she was still exhausted and drowsy. She quickly fell asleep after John had driven across the Carquinez Bridge and into Vallejo. By the time they had driven past Fairfax, John was bored out of his mind. There was traffic on the road according to Google maps, and they would be delayed an hour.

As John sat in traffic, his mind wandered. He thought about what could go wrong. Maybe they would show late enough that Anna’s mom had to leave the house and they were stuck waiting. Maybe gridlock would get worse, and they spend the rest of the afternoon sitting in traffic and ended dragging themselves into the mom’s house in the dark—both exhausted and annoyed. Maybe after they arrive they discovered that half there presents were left behind back in San Francisco, forgotten by the rush to get on the road and to Reno.

Dashlinq

John decided to listen to something on his cell phone. Using voice commands, he used DashLinQ to start WebRadio to access his favorite radio station from Truckee/Lake Tahoe—KTKE 101.5. He found them on their last skiing trip to Diamond Peak and fell in love. Using the WebRadio feature in DashLinQ, John would listen to Truckee radio while commuting in the Bay Area.

Regardless, KTKE kept John’s mind focused on driving and soon the traffic loosened up all the way through Sacramento. John was relieved on different levels. Just past Sacramento, Anna woke up and decided to change stations and used the DashLinQ to access her music collection she stored on Google Play. They spent the next forty minutes listening to Taylor Swift and John kept his cool the whole time, while looking for an excuse to get out of the car before he started crying.

GROM Audio Blog Holiday

He used a voice command and asked for the next restaurant, and Google Maps directed him to Dine n Dash Pub & Grill just past Colfax. Anna was game, and John was relieved. After eating and getting back on the road, John had already figure out what music to listen to so that both of them could stay sane.  They spent the rest of the trip listening to some smooth jazz on Spotify radio. Soon, they were off the highway and onto Virginia Street in Reno. The rest of the trip was quiet as they pulled into Anna’s mom’s house five and half hours since departure. But Mom wasn’t home.

They ended up using Google Maps, one more time, and had dinner at  Silver Peak Restaurant & Brewery, not too far from the house. They spent time having dinner and hanging out until Anna could get a hold of mom and head on over back to the house.

Bring us on the road with you.

For more information on our Dashlinq app and interface, check out on our store: http://gromaudio.com/dashlinq/.

Christmas Story Series

Bring Us On the Road with You Series:
Holiday Edition

Story One – Dashlinq with Bill and Anna

Story Two – VLine with Bill and Rommel

Story Three – Wirelinq with Bryan and Mia

Storytelling is one of the ways people share in the celebration of the holiday season.  Whether it’s sitting around the fireplace or gathering at the dinner table, stories bring warmth to our hearts.  During this holiday season (and in the links above), we bring you stories of how our integrative car audio solutions can help you in your travels.  Stay tuned in and engaged, and bring us on the road with you.

GROM Audio Blog Holiday

“I spend a lot of time in the car.  The most robust holiday travel I ever experienced was back in 2013 when I went with my girlfriend to spend holidays with and her family on the East Coast. Flying to New York for Christmas with her mom and brother, we then took our rental on a road trip to Boston to celebrate the New Year with her entire family outside the city.” – a storyteller

Technology Behind the Wheel

Technology has slowly entered into the driving life of most people, with mobile device users now having access to variety of apps designed to make their driving experience easier and more relaxing. GROM Audio has worked for years to make this experience has satisfying and safe as possible, developing car kits and apps to seamlessly integrate mobile device with car stereo and infotainment systems.

Driving seems to be the norm for many couples and families during the holiday, travel that includes long periods inside a car across roads in the rain and snow. The ever-present urge to get moving before Christmas then afterwards during the return to work, setting aside the urgency to finish the gift shopping and wrap the gifts, and make the assurances that everything needed is packed and ready for the journey.

The value of having access to a myriad of apps has expanded the value of driver’s travel experience. During the holidays, when the roads are packed and everyone is more distracted, having access to these apps can be indispensable. Whether mapping apps or music apps, this new technology can release drivers from some the burdens of holiday commuting.

Through GROM Audio’s car kits and apps, the value of this technology is brought to easier, less distracted methods of accessibility, enhancing passenger safety while augmenting the driving experience.

GROM Audio Blog

GROM Audio’s Participation in Giving Tuesday

As the holiday season is quickly approaching, the spirit of not just receiving but also giving is in the air.  Every year, GROM Audio teams up with an organization for toy drives.  This year is no different.

This year, we have decided to partner with Salvation Army* for their Angel Tree program, a nationwide effort.  Through Angel Tree, we give gifts to children of needy families.  We are excited to give back to our local community in this way.  In this Giving Tuesday, we want to encourage our communities to join us in giving back to wherever you are at.

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Giving Tuesday began back in 2012 as a response to the commercialization of the holidays during the post-Thanksgiving season (Wikipedia.org).  We at GROM Audio are not only car enthusiasts, but we also care about our communities.  We believe that together, we can build a better world.  Join with us this season of receiving and giving.

See links below for more information on Giving Tuesday and ways to give:

*GROM Audio has no affiliations with Salvation Army.  GROM Audio do not reflect the views as provided by Salvation Army herein.  This community project is strictly optional within the company to participate and is not a reflection of GROM Audio as a company.

Holiday Gift Guide

GROM Audio Holiday Gift Guide 2016

Are you ready for Christmas shopping? Because Santa doesn’t have extra bass for your car stereo. Are you shopping for an audiophile? Are you shopping a car enthusiast? Maybe you might be buying for a gadget geek?

We at GROM Audio are excited to offer you our holiday gift guide. From our car kits, which turn your smart phone into an extension of your car stereo; to VLine, which evolves your car infotainment system by integrating it with your hand-held device, increasing access to features and empowering it with the latest software innovations.

At GROM Audio, we offer seamless integrative experience for your car stereo. In the month of December, we will continue to provide you with gift ideas.  So be sure to check back on our website and social media for our daily gift countdown.

To subscribe to our newsletter, go to gromaudio.com

$300-$500 TIER

VLine Infotainment System Upgrade for select Lexus and Toyota stereos
$299.95 – $499.95
http://gromaudio.com/store/vline/

GROM Audio gift guide

VLine is the smart computer that connects to the back of your Lexus/Toyota stereo and integrates into the car infotainment system and touch screen display. VLine is superior alternative and easy upgrade for Lexus/Toyota OEM stereo. If you want to access Google Maps, Music such as Spotify, Web Radio, and others, from your Lexus stereo screen – VLine is for you.

 $100-$300 TIER

One of GROM Car Kits that provides USB connectivity, Bluetooth hands free and A2DP wireless music streaming, and HD Radio

GROM-USB3
$145.99 and up
http://gromaudio.com/store/usb_adapters/

GROM Audio gift guide

GROM-USB3 car stereo adapter connects your USB 2.0 device such as flash drive, external hard drive or mass storage device, iPhone and Android Smartophone, to the stock stereo in your car. You can control the playback through your car stereo or steering wheel controls. USB3 is capable of Bluetooth music streaming/hands free phone calls and HD Radio with additional Bluetooth Dongle and HD Radio Dongle.

GROM-BT3
$132.99 – $141.99
http://gromaudio.com/store/bt3_adapters/

GROM Audio gift guide

Adds Hands Free Calling and Wireless Audio to the original factory stereo of many cars. The system comes with built-in Bluetooth and microphone. GROM-BT3 module has two extension ports that can be used for Aux-In and HD Radio integration with optional cables that are sold separately.

GROM-MST4
$249.99 – $289.99
http://gromaudio.com/store/most_adapters/

GROM Audio gift guide

The kit works for Audi, BMW, Mercedes and Volvo select stereos with Fiber Optic MOST technology. GROM-MST4 car stereo adapter integrates your USB flash drive, iPod/iPhone and Android to the stock stereo in your car for music, browsing, text display (where supported) and integrated controls. MST4 is capable of Bluetooth music streaming/hands free phone calls and HD Radio with additional Bluetooth Dongle and HD Radio Dongle.

UNDER $100

AUX1 Adapters
$61.99 – $71.99
http://gromaudio.com/store/aux1_adapters/

GROM Audio gift guide

Direct sound connection will ensure the best sound quality. The adapter comes with the 3.5mm audio jack connection for any MP3 player, Smartphone, or other music source.

UNDER $30

OBD2 Diagnostic Dongle
$24.99
http://gromaudio.com/store/accessories/dongle-obd2g1.html

GROM Audio gift guide

GROM SmartScan(TM) OBDII scan tool will allow you to fix simple problems yourself. With SmartScan OBD2 Tool you can find out why your check engine light is on before visiting the mechanic.  You will be able to read and clear diagnostic trouble codes (both generic and manufacturer specific DTCs), turn off the Check Engine Light and display current sensor readings using your phone or tablet (with the appropriate app).

Phone Holder for the Car Vent
$10.99
http://gromaudio.com/store/accessories/mount-rcav.html

GROM Audio gift guide

GROM Universal Adjustable Rotating Air Vent car mount will hold your phone or GPS in place. It can be mounted safely and securely on the air vent of the vehicle, and will not obstruct the view.
Prevents devices from scratches and falls and provides easy accessibility to the mounted device.  The holder is an ideal solution for hands free calling or navigation with your phone.  This practical mount model allows the driver to interact with electronic gadgets conveniently and without obscuring visibility.  The phone sits securely, and can be positioned vertically, horizontally or at an angle.

Magnetic Phone Holder for the Car Vent
$10.99
http://gromaudio.com/store/accessories/mount-mavm.html

GROm Audio gift guide

GROM Magnetic Air Vent car mount uses magnets to hold your phone or GPS in place. It can be mounted safely and securely on the air vent of the vehicle, and will not obstruct the view.  GROM Magnetic Air Vent Car Mount will hold devices encased in covers and cases.  Prevents devices from scratches and falls and provides easy accessibility to the mounted device.  The holder is an ideal solution for hands free calling or navigation with your phone.

UNDER $10

Dual Android and iPhone data cable
$9.98

http://gromaudio.com/store/accessories/cable-c-du2la.html

GROM Audio gift guide

Apple MFi Certified Lightning cable, 100% compatible with iOS 9 without any warning message. 3ft 2in1 ( micro USB connector with 8 pin adapter) design makes the cable compatible with both Apple system and Android system phones and tablets.  Micro USB adapter is compatible with Samsung Android systems, including Galaxy Tab, Tab 2, Tab 3, Tab 4, Samsung S2, S3, S3 mini, S4, S5, galaxy 3, galaxy 4, galaxy 5, Amazon Kindle, Kindle Fire, HD, HDX, Nook, lg Google Nexus 4, 5, 7, 10, and many tablet and mobile devices, with the exception of Asus Transformer.

 

High quality iPhone data cable
$8.99
http://gromaudio.com/store/accessories/cable-c-u2l3.html

GROM Audio gift guide

The GROM USB Sync and Charge Lightning Cable works with Apple devices that have a Lightning port, including the Apple iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 5, iPhone 5C, iPhone 5S, iPad Air, and iPod Nano.  The narrow Lightning Adapter is small enough to fit most cases but strong enough to withstand repeated unplugging and storage.
Works with GROM-USB3 Car kit.Connect your iPhone to factory stereo for play, charge and control via GROM-USB3

High speed dual USB car charger
$9.98

http://gromaudio.com/store/accessories/smart_usb_car_charger_with_two_ports.html

GROM Audio gift guide

Mobile electronics USB socket power adapter for vehicle use.  This stylish charger will charge your devices at the fastest possible speed.  The sleek design ensures that the charger fits neatly and safely in your 12Volt power port. Works well for anyone that needs to charge their iPhone, Android, GPS or other mobile device in the car.   The GROM Smart car charger will charge 2 devices simultaneously at full speed. The charger will be able to ensure the full charging efficiency. Compact and easy to take with you no matter where you go.

Reversible Micro-USB cable for Android phone
$8.99

http://gromaudio.com/store/accessories/cable-c-efrmu.html

GROM Audio gift guide

High quality EasyFlip Reversible Micro USB to USB cable, 5FT, gray and black color.  No more need to fumble with fitting your MicroUSB cable to your phone, and risking to damage your phone connector. With GROM EasyFlip reversible MicroUSB cable you will plug your cable to your phone worry free.

GROM Gift Card

Can’t decide what would be the perfect fit for a loved one or friend? Give them a gift card and let them decide. Contact us on how to get one.
 GROM Audio gift guideDon’t let figuring out what to buy for your loved ones suck the joy out of your holiday season this year.  Instead, pick something that we know will be thoughtful, sentimental, and practical at GROM Audio.