By Ashley Campbell.
I’m a big fan of ‘cool’ media and audio that can be put in your cars, it’s always been an interest of mine, specifically the car customisation developments that have come out of both the car modding scene here in the UK and in the US, specifically brought to the light with MTV’s ‘Pimp My Ride’ craze which had its viewers gawping at the sublime and ridiculous that was put on show.
With the development in technology however, the trend seems to be shifting from the amount of noise you can get from your system to what the coolest piece of kit you can add to your vehicle (and what other technology it can link in with) is.
Dash mounting specialists, Scosche, have released their first head unit which not only provides streaming capabilities from your mobile, but also has an iPhone/Android application which allows you to use your mobile device as a remote for your in-car sounds, including radio tuning. With a very affordable price tag (US price $139.99), it’s definitely a good shout for your next car stereo.
The concept and price are brilliant, although controlling of the head unit will only be a realistically operational tool for the passenger in the vehicle (assuming you keep to certain levels of driver safety).
Pioneer have announced the new MixTrax software that’ll be going into every new product they launch (with an X in the product number as shown above), allowing your music collection to be collated and put into playlists of matching genre. What separates this from just setting up a playlist on your mobile device and plugging it into the AUX or connecting via Bluetooth is that the mixes will continue to be different, hopefully keeping most playlists fresh. Throw in iOS compatibility and the great levels of quality that one can expect from a Pioneer product,and you can agree that this is a great addition to your in-car arsenal. What I like about this is that Pioneer are taking away the need to chop and change tracks during a drive (assuming the mixing technology is of a good calibre, of course!).
Moving away from after-market equipment and into manufacturer-fitted products, I’ve got to say I’m liking Mercedes’ new look interiors with the tablet-style main screen. As far as I’m aware these aren’t touch screen (although I’m happy to be corrected on this!), but nonetheless it is a great way of adding the hottest things in the tech world to something that doesn’t usually go hand in hand with it. In my humble opinion, this works. Unlike the above two products of course, to get the above look you do need to find the cash for whichever Merc you want to have built around it, but, as with anything, if it’s in your price range it’ll make for a great in-car experience.
With that said, if you’re feeling the above tablet-style look but don’t want to have to buy the car it comes in, you can always do like the individuals at Soundwaves have done!
Shortly after its release, the guys from Tampa have successfully installed an iPad Mini to a dashboard which fully links up with the in-car speakers.
What’s so great about this? Apart from giving Apple fans a reason to buy another iPad, the fully loaded LTE version would be able to stream such services as Spotify and Netflix seamlessly into your car, thus creating a limitless supply of entertainment to your commute. Obviously it’s worth noting that anything less than LTE capability and you’re asking for frustration, and I dare say an LTE-capable tablet from another OS should work just as well; but with all this in mind, it’s this kind of innovation that can leave all doubt from I.C.E fans that the age of car customisation isn’t over just yet.
All in all, there’s definitely a case that subtle is the new ‘in’ with regards to in-car entertainment, with the capabilities of what your technology can provide mattering more than the sheer output of what’s coming through your speakers. It’s also noteworthy that the mobile phone has officially become the main reason to innovate your in-car experience, with so much being geared towards how you can interact with your stereo rather than just what it can do.
Taken from: http://ashdigitalupdates.wordpress.com/