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Technology Events

  1. mp3Car hits the road for SEMA 2008

    by , 11-02-2008 at 11:12 AM


    Goce, Heather and I (Robert Wray) are heading to SEMA this week. Help us!
    • Tell us what you want you want to know more about. We will be blogging and shooting lots of HD video.
    • If your SEMA lead is time sensitve or confidential call us. 410-526-2852 xt 642
    • Give us ideas in our SEMA forum thread
    • Come to our SEMA party. RSVP Here. Talk about the party on our forums.

    Updated 09-17-2009 at 04:06 PM by ecog

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    Technology Events
  2. August 27, 2008 - 1955 Porcshe 550 Spyder

    by , 08-27-2008 at 01:49 PM


    We are supporting Special Edition, Inc on a car computer engineering project. The goal is to get a car computer in a 1955 Porcshe 550 Spyder replica that they build out a “piece of bare ground” Here is a quick shot of the what the dashboard will look like without the monitor.

    Over the next couple of weeks expect several blog posts explaining the details of the car computer's integrated features.
    I am going to kick this off with some interesting information we obtained about hacking the Andrea's super beam microphone. To maintain aesthetics we wanted to expose only the microphone portion of the superbeam and just place the mic pickups right in the dash. This would effectively leave just two black “dots” on each side of the speedometer.
    Here is the information we obtained from Andrea’s acoustical engineers:
    3.5" spacing = approximately 30 degree beam or cone shaped pickup.
    6" spacing = approximately 20 degree beam or cone shaped pickup.
    8" = approximately 10 degree beam or cone shaped pickup.
    Here are some photos of the unit when we hacked it open. Microphone extension wires can just be soldered in place to the appropriate length based on your installation.

    We were also cautioned by Andrea to make sure to expose in the passenger cabin the rear slots of the microphone as well as the front slots of the microphone. Unfortunately this will make the mic stick out about a ¼ inch, but at least we can hide all the other electronics.
    This microphone hack has coupled with a new external USB echo canceling sound card that is amazing for Bluetooth calls which will be the subject of a future blog entry. Talk about this here on our forums blog talk section. Check out the breif work log here.
  3. MP3Car BBQ, Washington, DC, This weekend

    by , 08-15-2008 at 10:46 AM
    Weather is forecasted to be 85 degrees and sunny for tomorrow's Washington, DC MP3car BBQ. Post in the forums and tell us you are comming by 10am, MP3car will bring some food for you. Also let us know what your shirt size is and we will try to bring enought mp3car shirts for everyone (free). For full event details, see W3bMa5t3r's post (Forum Link)
    Scott and I (Rob) are both comming. We will be bringing the recently blogged about Guru Car computer and some other interesting things.


    [IMG]file:///C:/DOCUME%7E1/sean/LOCALS%7E1/Temp/moz-screenshot.png[/IMG]

    Updated 09-17-2009 at 03:54 PM by ecog

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    Technology Events
  4. Mp3 Car at SEMA

    by , 11-06-2007 at 10:35 AM
    Here is a video that was shot at the 2007 SEMA Show, the world's 'Premier Automotive Specialty product Event' - or for us laymen - the biggest car gadget love-in anywhere in the world. The video is all about Mp3car and VIA's involvement in the Car PC industry and in particular the new G4 from Mp3car, a powerful VIA C7-based multimedia Car PC that fits into the dashboard of your car.

    This car PC uses a 1.5GHz VIA C7 processor, 512MB – 1GB of system memory, 6.5" LCD touch screen, high-def audio, a 40GB – 250GB hard drive, a DVD ROM, internal GPS module and Digital Multimedia Broadcasting (DMB) receiver and the first ever HD radio receiver. It takes up the space of 2 DINs, in other words double the space of your regular car CD player or radio. So what kind of man (or woman) needs a PC in his car?

    While the car PC is still very much an enthusiast level purchase we have to bear in mind that cars have been using computers for more than a decade now, and that many high-end sports cars and SUVs today require a PC to simply keep the engine running smoothly. This is where having the PC on the dashboard can have its advantages. In many custom sports cars the PC can handle the running of engine and various other components of the car as well as in-drive entertainment and GPS etc.

    And people want to be entertained. Just because you're on the road doesn't mean that we can't watch a DVD or surf the net, especially where we are talking about road trips with the family. Driving to music is not a new idea, but how’s about having high-def sound pump out your entire music collection, stored on the hard drive of your car PC? Hmmm...
    While car PCs are a popular past time for hobbyists around the globe, the Infill PC is a complete solution that promises easy installation and ease of use. The touch screen lets you navigate around Windows XP and do everything you'd usually do, but there's also a custom application called StreetDeck which is optimized to suit people with their hands on the wheel. With gesture recognition and simple, larger menus, StreetDeck would appear to make driving while using the PC reasonably safe.

    The Infill G4 is an excellent example of what we at VIA are striving to achieve. Smaller devices and machines that use electricity sparingly and fit snuggly into our daily lives without using any cooling fans - making it more rugged and useful in situations like a moving vehicle. By developing systems that use less power and therefore create less heat, VIA is able to offer systems that run much cooler and can exist in some quite surprising places.

    The car PC is only the beginning.

    Updated 09-17-2009 at 03:18 PM by ecog

    Categories
    Technology Events , mp3Car News
  5. Intel Chopper

    by , 05-13-2007 at 10:27 AM

    Intel notes that the versatility of the SwitchBack-PC is nearly “boundless,” and the modularity of the Black Diamond solution creates a lot of optionsvfor the design of the chopper. “Instead of a computerized dashboard affixed permanently to the bike we can use the BackPack technology to make it portable,” explains Intel’s Reed. “So theSwitchBack-PC not only controls and monitors the chopper, and integrates with its electronic subsystems, but it also functions as an Ultra Mobile PC, allowing the user to surf the Internet, do email, write reports, and so forth. You can snap it off and take it with you, preventing any unauthorized person from operating the vehicle.”

    But it’s not just a snap-on PC either. “Everything on the bike is integrated with the computing system, and vice versa,” explains Justin Dyster, president of Black Diamond. What that means is that the ignition system is controlled by fingerprint recognition software. The sunlight viewable digital dashboard displays all of the traditional vehicle indicators like speedometer, tachometer, fuel and oil gauges, battery life, and turn signals. Black Diamond used StreetDeck* infotainment software to integrate audio and video applications like GPS navigation, Wi-Fi connectivity for quick updates on traffic and web-surfing, and touch-screen access to the radio and MP3 files, all of which are also integrated with the handlebars and headset in the helmet. Rear-mounted USB cameras replace standard rear-view mirrors to display rear-view images on the digital dashboard. This “dashboard” is also a fully functional PC, complete with QWERTY keyboard that can be disconnected from the vehicle and taken with you, to create, edit and view presentations, spreadsheets, do email, and so forth.

    Dyster also notes that the SwitchBack-PC used on the Intel Chopper is just like the off-the-shelf version that Black Diamond makes for other applications, with a few minor differences. “We used a custom paint scheme, and we increased the performance of the SwitchBack with the new Intel® Core™ Duo processor to allow for more features.” Battery life of the SwitchBack-PC has been extended in several ways. Besides the engineering efficiencies that give the device a long battery life to begin with, hot swap capabilities allows the user to replace the battery on the go. Plus, the SwitchBack-PC battery will be recharged while the bike is operating. So the user will always start with a fully charged battery when the UMPC is detached from the vehicle.

    Updated 09-17-2009 at 03:14 PM by ecog

    Categories
    Technology Events , mp3Car News