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Thread: Times are a changin

  1. #1
    Maximum Bitrate DaveDog's Avatar
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    Times are a changin

    Just some thoughts:


    With the latest developments here with the Ipad docks, and the news coming out of the Computex show, I think its safe to say the times are a changing for how CarPC systems will be built in the future, and I believe the future will definitely be with pad devices, they have an incredible amount of hardware integration at an affordable price. 3/4G connectivity will eliminate the need for some of the hardware.

    Near term, the pad devices that use Win7 will be the easiest migration for those that want existing hardware to work, i.e. HD Radio, satellite radio, fusion brain, and other devices that have windows drivers readily available. Also front ends that use Windows have an edge at the moment.

    Of course the Ipad is the rage right now, but my concerns there are with the way Apple has their devices and applications guarded by a seemingly iron fist. Not sure if we can get drivers for hardware and a nice automotive style front end integrated, but we'll find out soon enough.

    Meego pads will be interesting. Here we have a linux OS, designed to run on multiple hardware platforms that has as a goal to integrate in-car entertainment. We also have front ends that run on Linux, and hardware support has been coming along.

    Android is the dark horse here. Android pads are coming and while the first generation of pads won't have great OS integration, I can imagine this will improve tremendously over the next year. Will we get hardware support, and will there be a auto style front end?

    While my current installs are all Win7 based mini-itx systems I put together myself with all the other hardware wired up all around the vehicles, I'm quite sure my next system will be a pad device, and a much simplified installation.

    After building pretty much the same kind of systems for the last 6 years its going to be really exciting here in the next couple.
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  2. #2
    Variable Bitrate Wayne613's Avatar
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    Don't see it. I see them as additions, certainly, but some sort of move towards the more portable devices, x-pad/tablet type included? Nah.

    Greed will stop it. Apple, and not to single them out, most other manufacturers of such products hold onto locking down or out features and functions because they might lose out a buck on a transaction or the like. That tunnel vision has been Apple's handicap since inception, only by [IMO] it's combo of successfully targeted avertising, and uniquely ingenious easy interfacing have they conquered in recent years.
    2008 Ford Mustang GT/CS CARPC(99%)
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  3. #3
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    One thing that makes the tablet appealing is that its easy to install and easy to remove. Most people can easily grasp the concept that they can plug into the aux jack on their existing car stereo and do things. But most people have a hard time figuring out how to do a complete install. Secondly, buying a 300 tablet with a mount makes sense. Paying for a completely new system + installation could easily cost more.

    In short, tablets are easy and complete systems aren't.

    One drawback is that the tablet, because of it's removable nature, can't easily integrate with the car. It can, but it requires extra hardware. And if you take it out, you miss out on some awesome integration/automation tricks that you can do. This is why I think mp3car has something going with their plug computer idea. A dedicated and headless piece of hardware that integrates with your slate/phone is a very cool concept and one I'm trying to do in my own car. Something you plug in and it just works!
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  4. #4
    Mod - iPad Forums RipplingHurst's Avatar
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    I'd like to add is that tablets (usually) have GREAT, thin screens, and great responsive digitizer/capacitive touchscreens.

    Xenarc and Lilliput, in my view are overpriced garbage.

  5. #5
    Variable Bitrate Wayne613's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tripzero View Post
    One thing that makes the tablet appealing is that its easy to install and easy to remove. Most people can easily grasp the concept that they can plug into the aux jack on their existing car stereo and do things.

    In short, tablets are easy and complete systems aren't.
    I differ there, sure they're inticing, but so were the ipod docking stations. I can't see the usual person that would really want a carPC, say: "wait, I'll just slap in a tablet in place of that carPC I wanted".

    Usually they're trying to achieve far more than a tablet device can offer in software and hardware interfacing.

    Quote Originally Posted by RipplingHurst
    Xenarc and Lilliput, in my view are overpriced garbage.
    I wouldn't go that far, but yes, they are far better looking and responding.
    2008 Ford Mustang GT/CS CARPC(99%)
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  6. #6
    Who am I? HiJackZX1's Avatar
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    OH GOD, not another "The iPad is changing the Car PC world" thread. The iPad is not a Car PC, like another user said, its a glorified PDA. Yes its easy to use, yes it has tons of apps, but it will not come close to what a Car PC can do. Yes it may have instant on, but Win 7 has now given the Car PC that same feature with Hybrid sleep. Yes, you can take the iPad out, but if I really wanted to do that, I wouldn't have built a Car PC, which I feel should be flawlessly integrated into the car.

    As far as screens, I agree, Lilliput and Xenarc are very over priced, all though Lilliputs are much more affordable. I have a Lilliput as my main screen, which I have no choice because my bezel was designed for it, and changing it would be a pain. All the other screens are the VM70 screens, which go for $139.00 and thats with shipping within the USA. The screen works just as good as the Lilliput and has a better GUI. Another thing I like about the VM70 is that it comes with everything you need like the headrest covers. With Lilliput I would have had to spend $250.00 just to get a screen that has that ability, thats a rip off!

    PS: I agree with tripzero on the ability to control your car outside of the vehicle. Its interesting how people are taking different approaches to this idea. Most people are using the Sheva Plug, where as I'm going the simple route and allowing my car alarm to activate my car, control the windows, etc, but it also can turn on the Car PC and once powered up, I can control from my phone.
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  7. #7
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    Thanks for the heads up on the VM70. I just checked their website, and it's even cheaper now, at $139 with free shipping. Also, I see it auto-switches to AV2 for backup camera, which the Lilliputs don't. Cool.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne613 View Post
    I differ there, sure they're inticing, but so were the ipod docking stations. I can't see the usual person that would really want a carPC, say: "wait, I'll just slap in a tablet in place of that carPC I wanted". Usually they're trying to achieve far more than a tablet device can offer in software and hardware interfacing.
    an ipod/iphone/n900 would never cut it IMHO. Screen size is a big factor there. These slate devices have a very pretty screen and is plenty large enough (sometimes too large depending on how big your car/dash is. If you drive a mini, there's no way that a 9/10" tablet makes any sense).

    Additionally, if the tablet has a usb host port, you can do anything that software allows and with the right software, can you think of anything your carpc does that this can't? Also the OS is built for the device, so you don't have to worry about slimming it down, getting drivers, etc to work and all that stuff. I think everyone agrees that getting software integrated and all working properly is a huge barrier to entry. That's something LinuxICE tried to help with an all-in-one-pre-setup-OS approach. But these devices are that, plus better integration and great hardware!

    PS: I agree with tripzero on the ability to control your car outside of the vehicle. Its interesting how people are taking different approaches to this idea. Most people are using the Sheva Plug, where as I'm going the simple route and allowing my car alarm to activate my car, control the windows, etc, but it also can turn on the Car PC and once powered up, I can control from my phone.
    That is a much simpler approach. Great idea! Your limited in what you can do until the CarPC comes on, but that's a very reasonable way to do it. Good thinking.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZX1Cruizer View Post
    OH GOD, not another "The iPad is changing the Car PC world" thread. The iPad is not a Car PC, like another user said, its a glorified PDA. Yes its easy to use, yes it has tons of apps, but it will not come close to what a Car PC can do. Yes it may have instant on, but Win 7 has now given the Car PC that same feature with Hybrid sleep. Yes, you can take the iPad out, but if I really wanted to do that, I wouldn't have built a Car PC, which I feel should be flawlessly integrated into the car.

    As far as screens, I agree, Lilliput and Xenarc are very over priced, all though Lilliputs are much more affordable. I have a Lilliput as my main screen, which I have no choice because my bezel was designed for it, and changing it would be a pain. All the other screens are the VM70 screens, which go for $145.00 and thats with shipping within the USA. The screen works just as good as the Lilliput and has a better GUI. Another thing I like about the VM70 is that it comes with everything you need like the headrest covers. With Lilliput I would have had to spend $250.00 just to get a screen that has that ability, thats a rip off!

    PS: I agree with tripzero on the ability to control your car outside of the vehicle. Its interesting how people are taking different approaches to this idea. Most people are using the Sheva Plug, where as I'm going the simple route and allowing my car alarm to activate my car, control the windows, etc, but it also can turn on the Car PC and once powered up, I can control from my phone.
    Read before you troll

    This is about tablet hardware (not the iPad) replacing more traditional carPC hardware. In many cases identical hardware and software but in a smaller cheaper package.

  10. #10
    Who am I? HiJackZX1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kross View Post
    Thanks for the heads up on the VM70. I just checked their website, and it's even cheaper now, at $139 with free shipping. Also, I see it auto-switches to AV2 for backup camera, which the Lilliputs don't. Cool.
    I am not 100% sure on the reverse feature, because I don't use it. I know it has the wire but I think people have mentioned the wire is only there for looks. You may want to email short-circuit first and ask. They have great customer service so they will answer fairly fast.

    Quote Originally Posted by tripzero View Post
    an ipod/iphone/n900 would never cut it IMHO. Screen size is a big factor there. These slate devices have a very pretty screen and is plenty large enough (sometimes too large depending on how big your car/dash is. If you drive a mini, there's no way that a 9/10" tablet makes any sense).

    Additionally, if the tablet has a usb host port, you can do anything that software allows and with the right software, can you think of anything your carpc does that this can't? Also the OS is built for the device, so you don't have to worry about slimming it down, getting drivers, etc to work and all that stuff. I think everyone agrees that getting software integrated and all working properly is a huge barrier to entry. That's something LinuxICE tried to help with an all-in-one-pre-setup-OS approach. But these devices are that, plus better integration and great hardware!

    That is a much simpler approach. Great idea! Your limited in what you can do until the CarPC comes on, but that's a very reasonable way to do it. Good thinking.
    I just don't like that these glorified PDAs are being held up as marvels of the universe. I will say that I do think that Android will get into the market because they are already doing it with GM, or at least trying.

    I guess maybe I have a different view on what a tablet is. I think its a laptop, with full desktop capabilities, but can be taken with you and has a touchscreen. An iPad is not that at all. Now I do think that other companies will take advantage of Apples limitations and build nice tablets that have all the similar ports and stuff like a tablet.

    Quote Originally Posted by justchat_1 View Post
    Read before you troll

    This is about tablet hardware (not the iPad) replacing more traditional carPC hardware. In many cases identical hardware and software but in a smaller cheaper package.
    Well I see alot of iPad this flashing around so I assumed. My bad. Like I stated before I do think Android will have something similar to a real tablet pc, so i think that will make a niche in the market.

    As far as being cheaper, I don't know about that one. Now a days PC components are pretty cheap to come buy. I would have to say its almost equal in price, but with a Car PC you can tack on so much other equipment.
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