NASHVILLE, Tenn. (May 2013) – Nashville, Tenn., software developer/musician Beat Zenerino has stepped onto the national stage with a different kind of "hit" -- a cell phone application that's changing the way people research and buy cars.
The rock 'n' roll drummer's rise to fame as an acclaimed software artist began in March 2012 when he was hired by AutoAmigo and its television broadcasting partner, Univision Communications Inc., to develop a mobile app for Hispanic car buyers and dealers. The revolutionary interactive program for iPhone and Android communication devices allows potential car buyers to scan factory invoices for pricing, rebates, gas mileage, and interactive, 360-degree rotating images. The app is now in use on dozens of car lots in California and Florida, with new dealers coming aboard everyday. The new technology will hit Nashville car lots in the near future.
"It's the only cell phone application of its kind in the world," said Zenerino, who toiled day and night for five months to perfect his creation. "Car hunters can learn everything they need to know by scanning the barcode on the vehicle's factory invoice with their phones. The lowest possible selling price is shown on the screen. No bargaining is involved. Some customers have saved up to $5,000."
Here's how Zenerino's "hit" cell phone application works:
* First, the potential car buyer signs up at www.AutoAmigo.com. He or she can download the app and schedule an appointment with a dealer.
* Once the app is downloaded to his or her cell phone, the customer is ready to visit a car lot to view vehicles and scan factory invoices to obtain the information needed for a decision. All data is placed in a virtual "garage" for easy access and comparison shopping. Information includes the factory price, the dealer price, and the Auto Amigo pre-negotiated price. Customers can compare cars on criteria such as size, comfort, gas mileage, colors, design, special features, durability, consumer rankings, reviews and availability. The app allows users to study the vehicle on the small screen by using interactive, 360-degree rotating images. A shopper can even see what the dealer will pay for his or her used car.
* Car buyers later meet with a sales representative to quickly finalize the deal. The agent has access to the same data, so he or she already knows what the customer wants or needs.
"The biggest challenge was developing complex, interactive software that was fast, accurate and easy for customers and sales representatives to use," said Zenerino. "Data is presented in different formats depending on where you are, but everything ties together."
Zenerino, who has an electric piano sitting next to his computers, compares the development of his app to the writing of a symphony. The process involves choosing an appropriate computer language, deciding how the data should be represented and structured, and creating step-by-step procedures to accomplish the task.
"Writing software is an act of creativity," Zenerino noted. "It is the highest of high tech and also an art. I composed to find elegant solutions to complex problems."
Part of Zenerino's role was to develop an administrator-run web application to complement the mobile app. The web application is used to sign up new customers, provide downloads of the cell phone app, keep track of inventories, and collect data from potential customers. AutoAmigo trains dealers how to use it. So far, the cell phone and web apps are receiving rave reviews, giving the Nashville "software star" a reason to smile.
A native of Zurich, Switzerland, Zenerino is a highly respected electrical engineer, computer hardware and software designer, consultant, entrepreneur and musician. His firm, Bitvana, also has received praise for the design of consumer electronics equipment such as the HomeDock Deluxe, an accessory for the iPod. The hardware and software was sold through Comp USA, Best Buy and other major retailers around the world.
Before founding his company, Zenerino was director of engineering for Griffin Technology in Nashville from 2001-2004. During his tenure, he oversaw the development of the multi-million dollar iTrip/iPod FM transmitter. From 1997-2001, he served as an applications engineer in Nashville for Foresight, a company based in McLean, Va. He helped develop the Foresight systems-level modeling and simulations for the next generation of military fighter jets.
Zenerino also has worked extensively in the music industry. From 1989-1997, he ran a highly successful printing company on Nashville’s Music Row called Encore Press Works. He handled printing for major companies and educational institutions such as Sony Music Nashville, EMI Music Publishing, BMI and Vanderbilt University. The professional drummer/percussionist and tunesmith has performed with rock ‘n’ roll bands in Europe and the United States. In 1990, Zenerino amazed fellow musicians by developing a computerized sound and light show that was activated by dance moves.
Zenerino earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering in Zurich. At the urging of a musician friend, he quit his first job as an electrical draftsman and moved to Nashville in 1982. He joined the Pelican Co. in Franklin, Tenn., as an electrical engineer in 1983. He is a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and the Society for Computer Simulation International. He has two children, Amelia, 22, and Adrian, 14.
For more information about Zenerino or his apps, call (615) 300-3815; send an e-mail inquiry to firstname.lastname@example.org; snail mail an inquiry to Bitvana, 3607A Wilbur Place, Nashville, TN 37204; or visit http://www.Bitvana.com.