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The death of the car pc

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  • The death of the car pc

    Listen...did you just hear that? Chances are you didn't because you're too focused on getting a stable install of your car PC to work. If you'd been listening, you would have heard the sound of OEM's blowing by with new in car products that are exploring new paradigms for the future that our community has traditionally shunned.

    http://cnettv.cnet.com/toyota-entune...tTag=cbsmobile

    This time around, there's real innovation at CES in the automotive world. We've talked about the idea of a mobile ecosystem that travels with you from house to car to mobile device. The OEM's are building it now.

    We've talked about reference platforms or generic hardware boxes that could be used in a wide variety of automobiles. The OEM's are building it now.

    We've talked about the connected car concept and how data and processing off the car's cpu can enhance and improve the driver's experience. The OEM's are building it now.

    We've talked about the idea of low or zero configuration apps that make it easy to add to your capabilities and expand the usefulness of your car PC while making it simpler to install and run. The OEM's are building that now.

    I'm going to call time of death as January, 2011 for the car PC. The patient doesn't yet know it is dead, probably because there was a rr.ini config error.
    Originally posted by ghettocruzer
    I was gung ho on building a PC [until] just recently. However, between my new phone having internet and GPS and all...and this kit...Im starting to have trouble justfiying it haha.
    Want to:
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  • #2
    You may be right, but I believe the desire to build a carpc will continue but for a smaller group. These new devices will eliminate the desire to build a pc for the people that don't really enjoy fabrication and manipulating technology. This is the group that usually struggles through the build / setup process and doesn't really "enjoy the ride" just to get the use of the end result product. If they could buy something that does 70% or 80% of what they want, they would buy OEM.

    I still have to wonder how much liability the OE's are willing to assume to let us "play" while we are driving.
    We also know that it is very rare to get an OE to offer true "high performance" electronics. They offer quality & durability but not high performance. What most OE's call a "audiophile system" is a joke compared to after market. They brand the stuff with Bose, Pioneer, Harmon Kardon, etc. but the system seldom if ever measures up to even a mediocre aftermarket system.

    Time will tell though!!
    My 2007 Ford F350 Work Log located HERE

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    • #3
      Originally posted by PhilG View Post
      I still have to wonder how much liability the OE's are willing to assume to let us "play" while we are driving.
      We also know that it is very rare to get an OE to offer true "high performance" electronics. They offer quality & durability but not high performance. What most OE's call a "audiophile system" is a joke compared to after market. They brand the stuff with Bose, Pioneer, Harmon Kardon, etc. but the system seldom if ever measures up to even a mediocre aftermarket system.
      Those two things are key.

      Whatever the wisdom of playing with your carpc while driving, there are those who want that freedom, and don't want restrictions from the manufacturer.

      And the point about the aftermarket is key, as well. you can spend 10k+ in options on your car, and you will still not get as good a sound system as 3k will get you on the aftermarket.

      Nice line about the rr.ini, though, made me laugh.
      2005 Infiniti G35 6MT Coupe Black/Black
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      • #4
        I do think the connected car is going to become a mainstream feature in vehicles over the next few years. However, just as PCs are today, there will always be communities like this one that will always be interested in modifying and improving the technologies. Just as how you buy a PC today that never does everything you want it to do, without changing out some hardware and software, I think the same will go for our cars. I may no longer get the, "what is that?" question when people get in my car anymore when everyone has one in their car, but I can say that I built it......for $500 .

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        • #5
          For me it's mainly a hobby, and not just because I wanted functionality that wasn't there in a stock unit. I'm constantly tearing things apart, playing with different front ends, hardware, etc just because I enjoy doing so. It's like amateur/ham radio - technologically there's not much of a need for it since everyone has cellular phones, but there is still a big following because it's something people enjoy doing.

          Also, car technology is rarely on the cutting edge and people tend to want things right away. There will always be something new that people want but car manufacturers will be inevitably slow to deploy. When they do deploy it, they also tend to limit or restrict it is as mentioned above, and charge a lot for it upfront (we never think much of it since it's rolled into the overall cost of the car) and whenever possible, on a recurring basis. Certainly a lot of car buyers aren't techno geeks, and aren't going to tear their car apart to install a carpc, and will will be willing to pay to have the functionality, but I'm not terribly motivated to pay $10/$20/$30 etc a month to use a feature that I can use today without paying a monthly fee to use it.

          The target audience of these sites and who's buying the products may evolve, but personally I think we'll be around for quite a while. The main challenge will be as manufacturers drop din/double din standards for fully integrated systems, but that doesn't seem to be stopping a lot of people today. We're also going to become more demanding in what we're looking for so I'm personally excited to see the technology we develop to stay ahead of the mainstream.

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          • #6
            Oh its that time of year again....

            the "the carPC is dead...stock head units/ipads/OEM systems/tethered ipods/etc have officially made them obsolete" announcement really has become a tradition around these parts. Happy 2011 everyone
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            • #7
              Originally posted by justchat_1 View Post
              Oh its that time of year again....

              the "the carPC is dead...stock head units/ipads/OEM systems/tethered ipods/etc have officially made them obsolete" announcement really has become a tradition around these parts. Happy 2011 everyone

              It's not just me that thought he had heard it before then.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by justchat_1 View Post
                Oh its that time of year again....

                the "the carPC is dead...stock head units/ipads/OEM systems/tethered ipods/etc have officially made them obsolete" announcement really has become a tradition around these parts. Happy 2011 everyone


                Getting to be so you can set a watch to it almost eh?
                "stop with the REINSTALLS, what do you think we got some lame-o installer!!!" - mitchjs
                RevFE
                My Shop

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                • #9
                  i think bugbytes getting sick of tinkering with carpc's...

                  my own reasoning for getting into carpc's is because of what the OEM's will always lack..

                  i started with headunits because oem radios were, and always have, lacked where ever i wanted them to be better-- poor sound quality, poor adjustment, though they are getting better on the level of integration, and connection options..

                  i got to a point where i kept asking myself where to go from there.. and i was getting ready to dump more then $2,000 on a nav unit, plus at least another thousand or two on a sound processor, when a carpc does everything that those items would do, and is more configurable, and customizable.

                  OEM's have way more to deal with, but mostly legalities, and dumb users... if they don't plan their systems to account for either, they end up getting hit with a major lawsuit.

                  so because of this, there is no chance that oem's will ever meet my requirements because of these issues.. so i am here, making my own solution. granted, it doesn't meet all my needs all the time, but it does a heck of a better job then most of the oem, or current batch of aftermarket units..



                  as stated, i don't think carpc's will ever die. no matter what technology the aftermarket, or oem's use..
                  My OLD 2001 Mitsubishi Eclipse GT:
                  "The Project That Never Ended, until it did"


                  next project? subaru brz
                  carpc undecided

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                  • #10
                    Interesting since cares here are coming standard with "car PCs" - sounds lists etc.

                    I'm waiting for the things to be banned (for the usual HFE reasons), but until the Australian trials are concluded.... (A few definitive accidents etc.)

                    But yeah, we all know the total world market for a personal computer was ONE. (IBM; circa 1957?).

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                    • #11
                      If anything, I think Android tablets are going to expand CarPC's. They're still PC's, it's just another form-factor, a form factor that makes it much easier for joe average to install a CarPc. Instead of installing a separate touchscreen and running cables to a motherboard located elsewhere in the car, and then worrying about getting boot-times down, we can just buy a tablet that already has everything in one, the multi-touch screen and battery and CPU are all one unit you can mount fairly easily, and take with you when you park.

                      If some of the CarPC hardware providers get on board it's going to speed this along, an Android driver for FusionBrain would be especially handy.
                      The Android GUI by itself is usable in a car, but it's going to be better once someone writes a specific car-friendly GUI.
                      Android Tablet In-Car Sliding Dock using hacked DVD drive

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                      • #12
                        Not just a UI - there needs to be I/O as well. So far, none of the Android tablet's I've seen have a standard host mode, and bluetooth can only take you so far...

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Penzance View Post
                          Not just a UI - there needs to be I/O as well. So far, none of the Android tablet's I've seen have a standard host mode, and bluetooth can only take you so far...
                          i'll add one more..i think this came up in another thread....the OS itself has ZERO car specific functionality. That legally required "can't watch video while moving" safety feature isn't possible with android short of force closing every app when the vehicle starts moving.
                          openMobile - An open source C# Front End (why choose openMobile?)
                          - Always Recruiting Developers -
                          Like what you see? Donations are always welcome

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                          • #14
                            I'll be a bit more specific and make a long bet.

                            "Within the next 36 months, the number of new monthly registrations on mp3car.com will decline by 1/3 and the number of active members will fall by 1/3."

                            I'm hoping that this bet will be wrong, but if the community continues to tinker with FE's and treats mobile connectivity as an add-on instead of a central component, our innovation will cease to be of significance.

                            I'm not alone here. Gartner predicts that: "By 2013, mobile phones will overtake PCs as the most common Web access device worldwide."

                            Recent statistics of internet access by mobile browsers shows that it is growing exponentially. (I charted this data from the Forester report)



                            That trend should continue based on healthy sales of mobile devices. Forester research provides some recent data and predictions about mobile device sales.



                            The growth in the next few years will be in smaller, more portable mobile devices that depend on location and connectivity in a way that desktop and even laptop machines do not. Whether you like or hate the iPad, it is selling well and the wave of tablets that arrive this year will drive development and innovation in the mobile OS and software markets that will propel the mobile market forward.



                            Of course, these stats could be wrong about the timing, but frankly, I find it difficult to believe they are wrong about the trend. Automotive manufacturers and industry players are taking this seriously and putting dollars behind the professional development of apps and ecosystems that incorporate the car-as-a-node philosophy while our community develops on a car-as-the-hub philosophy.

                            If this trend continues, our little corner of the world will look like those guys who still develop for the Apple Newton. Quaint and cool, in a retro sort of way. While this forum doesn't represent *all* car pc users and developers, it certainly has a fairly broad cross-section of them and I don't see anyone seriously headed in this direction.

                            I stand by my statement.
                            Originally posted by ghettocruzer
                            I was gung ho on building a PC [until] just recently. However, between my new phone having internet and GPS and all...and this kit...Im starting to have trouble justfiying it haha.
                            Want to:
                            -Find out about the new iBug iPad install?
                            -Find out about carPC's in just 5 minutes? View the Car PC 101 video

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Got a new (to me but 2008) Car , I tried the Iphone route for 6 months and without an LCD touchscreen its not gonna fly. So I am back in the CarPC scene.

                              The used car market and people looking to save a buck will always look at things like carpcs as an alternative.

                              I am going to do a hybrid approach, some native car integration ( bluetooth, XM Radio, Steering Controls and add the carputer and amps, speakers etc.

                              OEM electronics have little expansion capabilites, are very expensive and have no design input from the user.

                              All this integration from the likes of Ford, Toyota is great because it will raise the bar.

                              Agreed our market will shrink, but not die. When I returned to Mp3Car's website I noticed the activity has dropped over the past couple of years.
                              2008 350z GT Installed since April 22nd 2011 - Worklog
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