The best way to find this out would be to send mp3Car a sample and we will have one of the forum members review it for you. Based on their review and the feedback of others, I am sure you will have enough information to decide. You can see the great reviews that forum members have already completed on mp3Car.com.
Feel free to pm if you would like to have a forum member test this product for you. It is also a great way to support the community here.
i guess youre right? i dont really understand how/where you would install it though... unless the case is made to fit in a double DIN slot
As someone that has done Business Plans/Cases, I suggest you look into what they require (ie the plans.... => cash flow, stock-to-door price lag, etc).
As someone that knows little about carPCs per se, I'd suggest many will probably want to build their own because they won't understand how cheap yours is etc etc...
But yours will be obsolete within 3 months...
To be competitive you need a mass market...
With bulk purchases...
That you aren't stuck with in 3 months.... or 2 months because it took you 1 month to implement & distribute etc.
And although carPCs may take off, it will be via the car manufacturers, not little players (I think it's too late for that... but I could well be wrong...)
The best system is modular with add-ons. But that has higher setup costs....
Thanks for everyone's input! It's not quite what I expected, but it is all very helpful.
I still think there is a market for a product like this, but it might not be the hardcore hobbyist market. I was actually hoping that a CarPC that bolted in to a double-DIN slot, wired up like your normal car radio, and managed it's power like a normal car device would actually expand the market beyond the hardcore hobbyist market. Beyond people that see the barrier to having a PC in their car as having to hack up their dash and trunk and run 20 cables. Basically catching the market that is already paying $1K+ for something like a Pioneer AVIC unit that doesn't even have a hard drive for storing MP3s or videos.
I guess I underestimated how much the hobbyist was based on "performance" of the computer. I was focusing on a PC that had reasonable power draw (30W, like a laptop), and had a design that could be supported for years. But this does mean non-cutting edge performance. Personally, if the device in my car can play a HD video (on my totally SD 800x480 screen), I'm not sure what more performance I want. I really can't imagine what a processor would do for me.
Personally, if the PC can boot in 20 seconds, play MP3's, play the radio, surf the web, do OBD-II logging, interface with my bluetooth phone, and do navigation, I'm happy. To do that doesn't require a fast PC. I'm not playing Crysis here.
The price is also not something that can come crashing down. We're not talking about consumer products here, we're talking about things that might sell 1K per year. If our parts cost was $700, it can't be sold for $1K. We have to assemble it, warranty it, engineer it, etc. Sell 1,000 per year, and you "make" $300K. But you have an engineer that worked on drivers, and a mechanical guy that packaged it, and the support guy that answers questions all day... Suddenly your $300K looks more like $50K a year, which is nothing for a serious company. Sell it through a dealer with a 10% markup, and you're underwater.
The screen is not $500. But it's not free either, and it's a custom design to get brightness like you only see in $500 screens. Sure, I could shave $50-$100 off the product with a super cheap LCD and touch overlay, and then everyone would complain about the product being hard to see in the daylight, which would make your $900 product super annoying.
I also still think that adding all the "features" in the base unit is a quick path to failure. It ups your price quickly, but not everyone uses it. OBD-II? I run a Tactrix cable in my Subaru because it's better than a generic OBD-II. DVD drive? I personally have zero interest in that and load all my media over WiFi at home or via USB hard drive. WiFi? Heard a lot of people find that pointless in a car even though I use it weekly.
I agree with your assessment. This may be the wrong crowd for such a device. I still think 30W is too much power. If you search for my thread with my single-solution, I suggest a more embedded solution with really low power draw (3W) that can stay on most of the time. This means that startup is instant and if for some reason it has to shutoff, 10secs would be the longest boot time (in theory).
Who knows, you may be able pick up a number of users here who want no-fuss hardware. If you can offer a no-fuss software on top of that, you're +1 for potential buyers.
Former author of LinuxICE, nghost, nobdy.
Current author of Automotive Message Broker (AMB).
Works on Tizen IVI. Does not represent anyone or anything but himself.
30W includes the screen at full brightness and a hard drive. But I'll admit it can't actually run at just 3W. It would likely need to hibernate, and I have resume down to 20 seconds (from key on) with basically no optimization.
3W is still 300mA on a 12V battery, which only means 90-ish hour standby on a normal car battery. I think you need to get sub 1/4 watt to start really considering an always on solution.