Pioneer End-Runs Ford; Unleashes Aftermarket "SYNC to Go"
Engadget sends us news from the '08 Consumer Electronic Show that Pioneer has unveiled a dashtop gizmo charmingly called the AVIC-F500BT. For those who speak Geek-speak, it's "a gateway for your personal technology. Large DB with 12 million POIs, text to speech, Bluetooth, SD slot, USB, voice recognition, OEM integration. Plugs into an AUX jack on your vehicle or via custom integration. Conversation commands, 'I want to listen to Justin Timberlake.' Yes, it will control your phone and iPod, just speak your commands." We prefer to think of it as "anything Microsoft can do, we can do better;" although we don't actually know that. Yet. But the Pioneer system can run on batteries, so motorists can move it from car to car, which has GOT to be a HUGE advantage over Ford's SYNC system. Looks like we're back to the whole in-dash vs. portable sat nav deal– just in time for the debut of Lincoln's in-dash SYNC. You see? A better car is more important than better doo-dads, every time. [Thanks to starlightmica for the link.]
People are creating their own in car computer systems, most based on linux. The beauty is you get security and low cost now rather than wait for it to be in a new car.
With wi-fi and bluetooth already in our pockets (and cars), with portable entertainment becoming more and more personal each day, in-car electronic entertainmnet equiping automobiles as major options might begin to head the way of the doodoo in a few short years. I predict that the actual units themselves will be replaced by simple "open" interfaces that will allow many different types/brands of equipment to make use of a common video screen(s) and speakers. In the future you will simply plug-in (or not)your phone and you will have NAV, Music, Traffic, Two way Communications, and voice interface from your phone (or whatever device we will be carrying)in your dash.
Geez, we are lazy. Apparently it's too much to ask to press a button on the steering wheel to change channels/tracks, or turn the volume up or whatever you want to do. I get the value of GPS, but sync? C'mon.
"I predict that the actual units themselves will be replaced by simple “open” interfaces that will allow many different types/brands of equipment to make use of a common video screen(s) and speakers." That would be SYNC by definition. MP3's on any USB thumb drive with no special software needed, bluetooth phone, or portable MP3 player with an output jack or bluetooth is covered. You can play music stored on your BT cell phone without it leaving you belt clip, via voice command(not to mention of course answering/using the phone and converting incoming text messages to text-to-speech). The Ipod/Zune can be run completely by voice with it being out of sight in the console(I've seen idiots holding up and trying to use the Ipod while driving with simple input jacks,which may be the most dangerous thing ever).