Page 3 of 7 FirstFirst 1234567 LastLast
Results 21 to 30 of 68

Thread: What features would you like to see CarPC hardware have?

  1. #21
    Newbie
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Milwaukee, WI
    Posts
    21
    Quote Originally Posted by soundman98 View Post
    gekko-- while i can see your point(and it would help save some money in manufacturing the units), justchat noted that his target market is mostly consumers-- and most consumers don't know anything about tethering(from how to set it up, to how to get it to work, or even that they can do it)-- which i think might hurt the overall sell-ability of the unit in the consumer market. (i do tech support for computers now, and most people don't know how to change the ip address, or even what a ip address is, how would you explain teathering?)
    I can understand your point. I guess my main point was that there's not a lot of advantages to wifi in a car as soon as you leave the garage. In terms of uploading/downloading, I agree, it would be nice to have wifi, but I wouldn't consider it an option for internet on the same level as tethering/gprs. Perhaps if this thing has a usb port on it, you could sell a usb wifi dongle for syncing with the home computer rather than building it into the device. I agree the consumer probably requires this feature, and considering the relatively cheap cost of adapters, why not build it in.

    Quote Originally Posted by soundman98 View Post
    But pioneers avic series (some of which offered 30 gb hdds that were mostly filled up with gps data, but you could have a couple albums stored on them, and also had bluetooth and ipod connectivity) usually retails for over $1000, so i wouldn't rule out a price tag of $1000-2000-- i think they would sell slower, but would still sell good.

    The issue with having a price tag around $1000 though, is that you are getting into a higher grade of consumers, that are serious about replacing junky factory equipment--for example, i would never buy a $1000 HU that did not have 5 or 6 channel preouts(4 fullrange speakers and 1 or 2 sub preouts), and user configurable crossovers, or was tough to use/setup...
    Totally agree on price. This thing MUST be in the price range of the pioneer AVIC series and alpine equivalent. Anything more than $600-700 and consumers will likely go to the Pioneer/Alpine alternatives. More than $1000 and you're into a way more sophisticated car audio user.
    @TFCommanderBob: Totally agree this thing would have to be all about the user interface and build quality. If it's not easy to use, nice to look at, and stable enough for all temps/uses, it doesn't matter what the features are.
    Brian
    2008 Grand Prix GXP
    [=====-------] 50% - Main Hardware Complete

  2. #22
    MySQL Error soundman98's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    on the border of northern IL/IN
    Posts
    5,848
    Quote Originally Posted by GeckoAddict View Post
    Totally agree on price. This thing MUST be in the price range of the pioneer AVIC series and alpine equivalent. Anything more than $600-700 and consumers will likely go to the Pioneer/Alpine alternatives. More than $1000 and you're into a way more sophisticated car audio user.
    not completly what i was trying to say(or maybe i am reading it wrong)--it is not that a higher cost unit is going to instantly push people to better known, name brand equipment(though it will be tougher to introduce a newer name to compete with well established brands), but with the higher cost, the more the consumer is going to expect for their money.

    i do not know of any aftermarket unit currently on the market that costs more than $1000 that doesn't have at least 6 channel preouts, and internal crossovers, so for a carputer to compete in the same price category, and be considered by most people, i think it is fair to say that it should have very similar, comparable options.

    to be fair in all price ranges, radios with a lcd segment screen in the $100-250 range usually have 1-2 sets of preouts, depending on brand, and pricepoint, the lower end ones usually don't have any crossovers, or much more in the way of audio stuff than basic bass/treble/balance/fade adjustment.

    the radios that i have seen with at least a 5" color touch screen display, usually start at around $300, the $300-500 range taken up by units that usually have the same limited control/options as the $100-$200 segmented screen radios(very limited audio controls, no crossovers)...

    above the $1000 price point, people can get pretty stingy about features and interface(i know i am-- i would never spend that much on something that doesn't meet at least most of my requirements), so skinablity and and the GUI of a carputer based system could definatly have a serious advantage over some of these poorly laid out systems.

    but without similar features to the current HU's in the market, few will use it-after trying to help too many friends pick out radios, i really feel that very people few pick a radio based on button/GUI layout-- features and price make or break it for most...

    like i said before, if the unit could be built for around $500, and include some features that aren't in higher cost units (primarily wifi, and music storage), i think they would sell pretty good.

  3. #23
    Raw Wave
    Auto Apps:loading...
    justchat_1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Boston, Ma or NY,NY
    Posts
    2,359
    mayhembdm666:
    They sell standalone systems exactly like your describing for ~$600-$1000 but that really doesn't have anything to do with this product.

    Everyone else-Now where on the right track......this input is dead on and very helpful.

    Wifi, Expanded Bluetooth support (phonebook even from very closed phones, SMS, bluetooth audio streaming, etc), actual internal storage, price and good voice recognition are hopefully going to be what sets it apart from the competition. The reason why I add wifi into the mix is that in bulk it adds about $5 to the price of the unit. Hopefully USB expandability will also help with those looking for more exotic features (plugin 3G/4G, satellite radio, unlimited additional monitors, unlimited additional audio zones, etc.)

    I have a pretty good background in hardware design but when it comes to marketing and distribution I rely on the guidance of a friend whos a CMO. Initial estimates say we should be ballpark $350-400 MSRP but obviously that will be effected quite a bit by the distribution route we choose. While ideally I would like to distribute through mostly custom audio shops I haven't done enough research as to how that end of things is going to be pulled off.

    Another question which i'm afraid I know the answer to is how should we pull off the storage. One option is to have the OS and downloaded apps reside in an internal 4-8GB flash, and have an sd card which is expandable up to 32GB (or a compact flash expandable to 64GB) for media. Another option is to use a solid state hard drive but cost is going to be quite high. The last option would be a regular laptop harddrive which would be very cheap but could have durability issues (Ford sync pulled their hard drives after only 2 years).

  4. #24
    MySQL Error soundman98's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    on the border of northern IL/IN
    Posts
    5,848
    i know most smaller audio shops have a main distributor that they purchase all of their stuff from-- the ones that i have talked to in the past will install almost anything as long as their distributor stocks it, or can get it... though none of the guys i have talked to would ever give me the distributors name(i don't blame them), so can't help much with who to contact, or how to get them selling it...

    i was wondering what you were planning for the hdd...
    i like the idea of using a 4-8gb flash/ssd drive for the oss's, and then having a removable media storage of some sort, though after a quick look around at flash memory costs, i don't see cf, sd, or ssd being a option:

    for price sd, cf, or ssd all seem to have simillar costs for large capacty storage:

    largest, cheapest sd card- 32 gb for $84.95:
    http://www.flash-memory-store.com/32...e-digital.html
    (some devices, like ip cameras, already have support 64gb sd cards, so they still could be coming, but don't exist just yet)

    largest, cheapest cf card- 32gb for $88.95 (there is a 64gb, but it is $650...):
    http://www.flash-memory-store.com/ca...card-32gb.html

    cheapest sata connector ssd- 32gb $94:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16820220455

    my music collection borders on 30-40gb, but i know more than enough people who have more than that, and feel that they must take it everywhere...

    what about using 2.5" drives, but making them easy to swap out? (maybe tilt the faceplate down, and you can remove the drive?) i know that it would not be condiered a great solution, but 2.5" drives are dirt cheap for large amounts of storage:

    a 160gb seagate for $50:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...-443-_-Product

    maybe at the worst, use something like a hotswap sata bay, and a standard drive for the first couple versions, and then offer a ssd later when the prices get more reasonable?

  5. #25
    Maximum Bitrate Borte's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Norway
    Posts
    529
    Don't use any regular hardrives. They don't work for people living in colder areas (like Norway)...

    A normal 2.5" laptop harddrive fails to spin up properly at temperatures below approx -10 celsius, one might use some highspec automotive hardrives that can handle the subzero temps but they aren't exactly cheap.

    I think the best solution would be some kind of memory card. Certain SSD are coming down pretty fast in price (at least here in Europe, I don't know about how it is in US) so that chould be an option.
    Failure is not an option...
    __________________________________________________ ______________________________
    The only full multizone / multiscreen cross platform open source Front End -> OpenMobile

  6. #26
    Raw Wave
    Auto Apps:loading...
    justchat_1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Boston, Ma or NY,NY
    Posts
    2,359
    Yea that was my concern too...and an industrial hard drive can be just as expensive as an SSD.
    The reason I was considering CF over SD had to do with backwards compatibility. The 64GB and newer SD cards are not backwards compatible with earlier versions (and the new readers are still pretty expensive). For a 32GB or lower system SD is the standard, for more then that I still would consider a CF card over trying to create a hot swappable ssd option.

    The funny part is a 64GB usb thumb drive is about the same price as any of the 32GB options but consumers would never approve of that route.

    What about twin sd drives? Two card readers are obviously more expensive then one but the price of 2 16GB cards over 1 32GB would probably pay the difference.

  7. #27
    Newbie
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Milwaukee, WI
    Posts
    21
    Quote Originally Posted by justchat_1 View Post
    Yea that was my concern too...and an industrial hard drive can be just as expensive as an SSD.
    The reason I was considering CF over SD had to do with backwards compatibility. The 64GB and newer SD cards are not backwards compatible with earlier versions (and the new readers are still pretty expensive). For a 32GB or lower system SD is the standard, for more then that I still would consider a CF card over trying to create a hot swappable ssd option.

    The funny part is a 64GB usb thumb drive is about the same price as any of the 32GB options but consumers would never approve of that route.

    What about twin sd drives? Two card readers are obviously more expensive then one but the price of 2 16GB cards over 1 32GB would probably pay the difference.
    I agree about not using a 2.5 inch drive (unless it's industrial-grade). The company I work for builds embedded controllers running a heavily modified WinXP Embedded (No display other than a few LEDs and remote desktop, runs native and .net apps to host webservices), and we use Sandisk Industrial CF cards for a few reasons: heat, cold, and vibration over time. Granted, we're only using 1GB cards, but it seems like a good way to go.

    Perhaps you could do a built in card of like 1-2GB to host the OS & application, and a forward-facing memory card (like the flap you suggest) that the user can remove for media storage. You could ship it with a regular temp 16 or 32GB card and if anyone wanted more or needed the extreme temp version they could buy any CF card from any electronics store. It also gives the benefit of being able to take the card out of the car and into a regular desktop for much faster syncing.

    As for sourcing the cards, all the major manufactures have distributor lists on their sites that you can e-mail to for a quote: http://www.sandisk.com/sandisk-support/us-distributors
    Brian
    2008 Grand Prix GXP
    [=====-------] 50% - Main Hardware Complete

  8. #28
    Maximum Bitrate
    Auto Apps:loading...
    VegasGuy's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Las Vegas
    Posts
    607
    Quote Originally Posted by justchat_1 View Post

    Wifi, Expanded Bluetooth support (phonebook even from very closed phones, SMS, bluetooth audio streaming, etc), actual internal storage, price and good voice recognition are hopefully going to be what sets it apart from the competition. The reason why I add wifi into the mix is that in bulk it adds about $5 to the price of the unit. Hopefully USB expandability will also help with those looking for more exotic features (plugin 3G/4G, satellite radio, unlimited additional monitors, unlimited additional audio zones, etc.)
    Great thread with a lot of thoughtful, productive commentary. A couple of thoughts:

    How well does advanced voice recognition work with 1600 watts of Beyonce massaging your ears? Or the functional equivalent, 4 teenage girls all talking at once.

    From a practical standpoint, how many input/output ports (SD, USB, Audio, Video) can you make accessable to the end user? If you're going to make all the "exotic" features external, where do they plug in and how do they get power? For example, most USB-powered external harddrives require 2 ports (power and data). Add a port for teathering/charging a phone and now we're at 3. External HD radio and XM...now it's 5. Plus 2 audio inputs. Even with a full-up carPC, it's not easy to find an answer .

    My point is, put it on the inside, and the hardware "fixes" the features you can offer. Almost guaranteed that one or more features will be obsolete as soon as you ship (check Ebay for all the units that offer analog TV tuners standard). Make it external, and you force the end-user to make all the wiring and power decisions and your dash starts to grow hair.

    I would LOVE to see something along the idea of the Pioneer IBus. Core functionality in the head, with externals attached to a bus. Here's a project for MJS Gadgets: Combo 4-port audio/USB 3.0 powered hub. Maybe use 5v powered ethernet to run from the head to the hub. Park all the externals in the trunk, under the seat etc.

    Thanks again for a fun read.

    VegasGuy

  9. #29
    Maximum Bitrate Borte's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Norway
    Posts
    529
    Regardless of harddrive choice SATA and USB support should be present for both internal and external access to keep different options open for the end user.

    This would allow a user to select between using a CF (default option) or use SSD or any other storage solution.



    Quote Originally Posted by VegasGuy View Post
    I would LOVE to see something along the idea of the Pioneer IBus. Core functionality in the head, with externals attached to a bus. Here's a project for MJS Gadgets: Combo 4-port audio/USB 3.0 powered hub. Maybe use 5v powered ethernet to run from the head to the hub. Park all the externals in the trunk, under the seat etc.
    VegasGuy
    A really good option (and future proof) would be to have the system support "MOST" but this might be a bit early (and expensive) for now. But it could always be though off and prepared for...
    Failure is not an option...
    __________________________________________________ ______________________________
    The only full multizone / multiscreen cross platform open source Front End -> OpenMobile

  10. #30
    Raw Wave
    Auto Apps:loading...
    justchat_1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Boston, Ma or NY,NY
    Posts
    2,359
    Quote Originally Posted by Borte View Post
    Regardless of harddrive choice SATA and USB support should be present for both internal and external access to keep different options open for the end user.

    This would allow a user to select between using a CF (default option) or use SSD or any other storage solution.

    A really good option (and future proof) would be to have the system support "MOST" but this might be a bit early (and expensive) for now. But it could always be though off and prepared for...
    I think your thinking in terms of CarPC owners not really the average consumer. Trying to fit an external SSD harddrive behind a head unit is not something your average car audio shop would even attempt.

    Quote Originally Posted by VegasGuy View Post
    Great thread with a lot of thoughtful, productive commentary. A couple of thoughts:

    How well does advanced voice recognition work with 1600 watts of Beyonce massaging your ears? Or the functional equivalent, 4 teenage girls all talking at once.
    Well for now the system the system pauses before the microphone is turned on but I've had pretty good luck with a directional microphone and active noise cancellation so well have to see how it goes. Even for screaming teenage girls, as long as their out of the microphones sweet spot it should work ok but thats going to be very vehicle specific.

    Quote Originally Posted by VegasGuy View Post
    From a practical standpoint, how many input/output ports (SD, USB, Audio, Video) can you make accessable to the end user? If you're going to make all the "exotic" features external, where do they plug in and how do they get power? For example, most USB-powered external harddrives require 2 ports (power and data). Add a port for teathering/charging a phone and now we're at 3. External HD radio and XM...now it's 5. Plus 2 audio inputs. Even with a full-up carPC, it's not easy to find an answer .

    My point is, put it on the inside, and the hardware "fixes" the features you can offer. Almost guaranteed that one or more features will be obsolete as soon as you ship (check Ebay for all the units that offer analog TV tuners standard). Make it external, and you force the end-user to make all the wiring and power decisions and your dash starts to grow hair.

    I would LOVE to see something along the idea of the Pioneer IBus. Core functionality in the head, with externals attached to a bus. Here's a project for MJS Gadgets: Combo 4-port audio/USB 3.0 powered hub. Maybe use 5v powered ethernet to run from the head to the hub. Park all the externals in the trunk, under the seat etc.
    Your second to last paragraph pretty much summed up exactly what i'm debating about. I would disagree though, that something like the IBus (which i thought was just an ipod to usb cable?) is the way to go.

    This was my thinking:
    An unpowered usb hub is about $10 so there is quite a bit of expandability possible. Most modern portable harddrives use a single usb connector, ~1Amp and can be up to 1TB. Even usb flash drives can be up to 256GB. I doubt a user would ever have more then one large drive (or an iPod) and a phone plugged in but in most cases the single plug for an ipod and a bluetooth connection for tethering and audio playback from a phone would be more then enough (IMO-certainly open to others). Additional functionality for any other brand is something that would connect to the rear of a headunit so I don't see it as that big of a problem to follow suit. There would be two rear USB ports which could be connected to a hub if needed along with the standard headunit RCA inputs/outputs. If you want to add satellite radio you get one and an audio shop could install it in about 20mins. The big thing though is that for things like a backup camera there are dozens of options to choose from instead of only our brand. Same for digital TV or a permanent internet connection. Even things like extra audio zones could be a single usb cable all the way to the amp instead of multiple very expensive shielded RCA's.

Page 3 of 7 FirstFirst 1234567 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Lotus Elise CarPc Project
    By mrluke in forum Worklogs
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 01-02-2010, 10:03 AM
  2. 2003 Lexus SC430 Convertible CarPC
    By Habious in forum Show off your project
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 08-18-2009, 08:30 PM
  3. Copying portable GPS features...
    By joshh385 in forum General MP3Car Discussion
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 09-17-2007, 02:10 AM
  4. CarPC v2 - Finalizing hardware - your thoughts please...
    By cMags in forum General Hardware Discussion
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 04-09-2007, 04:40 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •