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  • Potential product

    I have been thinking of building a computer enclosed into a single pull-out DIN sized unit. It would have an retractable VGA display that would work similar to what Alpine, Pioneer, Clarion, etc have. Right under the display would be a slot loading DVD drive.

    The front would also have an IR port for the keyboard/mouse/remote and a PC card slot.

    It would basically be a laptop complete with battery built into the size of a 2x6x7 box.

    I have the engineering and manufacturing contacts to complete this project but was wondering if there is a potential market for it. There are few liability issues to selling this unit but disregarding that for a while what could you see paying for something like this?

    I really anticipate it costing in excess of $2500.00 if it were ever a product that came to market.

  • #2
    Ouch... wish I had that kind of money to spend on stuff like this. It'd be cool to have though
    www.arbybean.com

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    • #3
      sounds nice
      someone would buy it
      i would if i had the cash

      cheers
      pcman
      donate to my team in the ****box rally all proceeds go to the cancer council http://www.everydayhero.com.au/dodgy_mechanics

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      • #4
        $1500 or $1000 would be better

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        • #5
          There are already two products on the market similiar to this:
          The empeg and the AutoPC. I think the empeg has sold okay, but the AutoPC was a complete failure. Both of those units cost a lot less than $2500.

          You have to ask yourself: what is the purpose of this PC? I would think the answer is to play MP3's. $2500 is too much to spend on an MP3 player, when much cheaper units are available.

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          • #6
            most of us here spend under $1000 on our mp3car's. $2500 is alot of money thats like have 2 1/2 mp3cars or more.

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            • #7
              I really anticipate it costing in excess of $2500.00 if it were ever a product that came to market.[/B][/QUOTE]
              I could build one hella big mp3car for that price or buy like a car.

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              • #8
                <font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">There are already two products on the market similiar to this:The empeg and the AutoPC. ... Both of those units cost a lot less than $2500.
                </font>
                empeg car 40Gb Price: $1,949.00
                They have been bought by S3 so I expect the price to come down soon.

                I don't know how much the AutoPC unit goes for but it runs a striped down version of WinCE that I don't think initially had the ability to play MP3's.

                Both those units have very small (128x32dot matrix on the empeg) displays.

                I agree that if the purpose was to simply play MP3's then this is not the product for you. The empeg (Rio Car) player would probably excel in that capacity.

                When you factor in the cost of the 7" XGA display, slot loading DVD, the design, manufacturing and engineering costs, the benefits of an all in one design... I don't think $2,500.00 is out of hand. A decent notebook would cost you about that much.

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                • #9
                  I say do it..anything that is done well sells..but is it going to be xga or vga?...I think your only liabities would be to your investors....at first???

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                  • #10
                    Why? they are already made, why waste money, if space is really that much of an issue, buy one thats already made. I think thats a huge waste of money, my player costs me 400 bucks, it has voice, lcd, ir, its in a 12x12x3 ish case, that goes in my "trunk" but whoopdy do, its not like i use that space anyways, There are plenty of cheaper more efficient ways to do it.....think of what you could do to your car!? you could buy a new engine w/ 2500.....or a kickin stereo system with subs tweeters and what not.....ask yourself if you REALLY need that that badly

                    ------------------
                    Player: Custom Plexi-glass case, k6-2 500 MHz Proccessor, 250W power supply 13.1 GB removeable HD, 4x20 INVERTED LCD, Voice Control Compliments of TrimodalVoice, IRman, Keypad buttons on LCD

                    Car: 1983 Chevy El Camino Conquista, KICKIN CAR!
                    Player: Custom Plexi-glass case, k6-2 500 MHz Proccessor, 250W power supply 13.1 GB removeable HD, 4x20 INVERTED LCD, Voice Control Compliments of TrimodalVoice, IRman, Keypad buttons on LCD

                    Car: 1983 Chevy El Camino Conquista, KICKIN CAR!

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                    • #11
                      I think putting these type of machineds ont he amrket is a great idea. The price isn't out of range if it's for DCD, GPS, and MP3. But I definatly think u should add GPS. It's a big difference since the actual GPS incar units alone are a good $1200 w/o the screen. Also this price would have to include a VGA screen. And you would have to set it up completely, be willing to cutomize it for the customer to the key, and you should throw in all the extras such as shutdown controlers, remote, wireless keyboard (wouldn't see a use for a mouse really but should porobably get a small wireless keytboard with a trackpad/ball on it). Also you should make many models. Such as completely indash ones, trunk models, ect... And be innovative. Make your own customized laptops and try to work with the least amount of suppliers as possible when it comes to prebuilt stuff. As in don't buy a laptop and just tear it down, make everything on ur own. That's just some things i have thought about cause im probably gonna be doing a lot of unofficial installs soon. But how much profit u think u will make off of this?

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                      • #12
                        Gex,
                        How about a 7" in-dash XGA screen instead of an all-in-one computer? I can't find a VGA in-dash screen anywhere. That I would buy (if under $750).

                        but here is what would really keep me from spending $2500 on your in-dash PC:

                        #1) In 2 years it will be obsolete (like an old laptop). That's a lot of money for a custom made PC that probably can't be upgraded.

                        #2) If you are going to sell a custom car-PC, you NEED custom software. Software that is designed to work in the car on a small screen without a keyboard or mouse! Something like the Cobra program is a good start.

                        #3) Clarion Joyride. Okay, the price is way too high, but it has DVD, GPS, and I think MP3, all with voice-controlled software (or easy keyboard-less input). If I had $2500 to blow, this is what I would get (this spring/summer) It does everything I want my car computer to do.

                        Suggestion: forget the in-dash DVD drive. Put in a firewire or USB 2.0 port. Now I can attach a firewire 80GB hard drive under the seat or in the glove box. Take the drive inside, and fill it up with Mpeg-4 (Div-X) movies, and then put it back in the car. I am not going to carry around my expensive DVD movies so they can bake in my hot car, or get scratched, or get stolen.
                        Oh, and drop the price to $1,200.

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                        • #13
                          Great points brought up by all! Thank you. I initially was going to build it just for myself since I have the available resources and contacts to do it.

                          I have seen most of the stuff on the market and much of it is very good. I really like what m2pc is doing; looks sharp.

                          Think of what I am envisioning as being a laptop that happens to be DIN sized It would have its own built in battery (it would/could go into sleep mode when the car is off and shut it self down when it runs out of its internal battery), DVD, PC Card Slot, etc..

                          That way I can pull it out of the dash and use it as my main home computer(it would have a dock, perhaps with add ional PCI expansion slots so I could use an nVidia card to play games. I know they make a chipset that can be integrated on the motherboard but that's too costly..and impractical , the office, another car, etc.

                          Anything you would use a laptop for you could use this thing for. When not in the car..have the screen fold back flat so you could use the touch screen to control it.

                          People would be able to buy this thing and not have to know anything about the issues involved in putting together a car pc.

                          To this group half the fun is building it yourself so I kind of expected some of the responses

                          I don't think there really is a market for a full blown car PC. Most consumers (and anyone concerned with safety) want car equipment to perform a specific task or combination of related tasks.

                          The empeg player is nice. Something like that that had a nice large screen, could play music cd's, DVD's, radio, do GPS, have high speed wireless access (using perhaps http://www.ricochet.com) for transferring of MP3s and updating of stock prices and road maps without having to bother with Windows (in other words be extremely reliable) would be a good product for the consumer market.

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                          • #14
                            <font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Make your own customized laptops and try to work with the least amount of suppliers as possible when it comes to prebuilt stuff. As in don't buy a laptop and just tear it down, make everything on ur own....But how much profit u think u will make off of this? </font>
                            Thank you for your comments! If I go ahead with one I plan to sell the motherboard would have to be made from scratch specifically for this application. The problem is I don't believe I would ever see a profit after R&D and production costs.

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                            • #15
                              <font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">
                              #1)In 2 years it will be obsolete (like an old laptop). That's a lot of money for a custom made PC that probably can't be upgraded.
                              </font>
                              Yes, biggest drawback! You are absolutely right about this. Perhaps new motherboards could be offered so you can reuse the rest of the stuff but the cost would still be very high.

                              <font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">
                              #2) If you are going to sell a custom car-PC, you NEED custom software. Software that is designed to work in the car on a small screen without a keyboard or mouse! Something like the Cobra program is a good start.
                              </font>
                              Good point. Hadnt though of doing this. When it comes down to it im starting to think why need windows at all?

                              <font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">
                              #3) Clarion Joyride. Okay, the price is way too high, but it has DVD, GPS, and I think MP3, all with voice-controlled software (or easy keyboard-less input). If I had $2500 to blow, this is what I would get (this spring/summer) It does everything I want my car computer to do.
                              </font>
                              Where can i find out more about this product? Isnt it just Clarions AutoPC(CarPC?) renamed? Does it come with a decent size screen? Still, I want to be able to browse the web, use napster..basicly anything i can do with a real PC but in the car...

                              <font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">
                              Suggestion: forget the in-dash DVD drive. Put in a firewire or USB 2.0 port. Now I can attach a firewire 80GB hard drive under the seat or in the glove
                              </font>
                              You loose out on the all in one portability benefits.

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