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Thread: Where are we headed?

  1. #11
    Variable Bitrate camo.b's Avatar
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    i see the competition as smartphones/tablets and high end car manufactures ...not much in the chinese double din....i think we should be heading towards using the competition not trying to out do them....a decent phone is really a dumb terminal built for access to media and general internet although it has the cpu capability for so much more... the unused power of them,screensharing /screencasting,social media i dont care about when driving and excellent mapping with traffic...(somthing we will probably never have access to)...how are we not doing a better job of pushing content,calls,navigation and really anything we want to our carpc..let them do the heavy lifting!!!
    i have a high powered big screen remote in my pocket that cannot do much for my carpc...

  2. #12
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    Personally, I think if windows had an android virtualization everything would be perfect. That way the same way Mac can run windows stuff, windows can run android stuff. That one lack to me is stagnating this whole feature from this moving forward or keeping up with the automotive industry on a mass level.

  3. #13
    Variable Bitrate camo.b's Avatar
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    Champak,Android emulation would be amazing

  4. #14
    Maximum Bitrate rray's Avatar
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    +1 on Android emulation and data storage sharing from our phone. That's a front end I would buy.


    -Robert

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by VegasGuy View Post
    I'm just trying to suggest that we can't just keep doing variations on the same old theme and expect to appeal to a broader market. As a paid solution provider, if I don't find ways to expand my market, I cease to exist. But even in the open source community, I'd argue that it's pretty hard to maintain development momentum when your product no longer really represents the cutting edge. Darwin knew it when he saw it....evolve or die.
    I think I get where you are coming from but correct me if I'm wrong. You are not asking if the sky is still the limit on the tech side of a car PC, I think we all agree that it is IF you have the cash, knowledge, desire & time to get there. However most people are lacking at least one of these elements.

    I talked my brother into buying a used one from the classifieds last summer. He's a teacher and commutes daily for 1.5 hrs each way, a natural for it...he wants to get rid of it...too much trouble maintaining it, updating windows, re-plugging in USB devices occasionally. He loves it's function, not interested in the work.

    It sounds to me like you want to know how do you expand your potential customer base. I don't believe it's by being on the cutting edge, that's what many here are interested in but I don't believe that it will net you sales to the "masses". Many are happy with HU functionality but want to be just a little bit different or "better" than their buddy's car.

    I would submit that if you took 100 people that had interest (there's the desire element) in upgrading their in dash solution via head unit or otherwise, I believe 95 of them would shy away from a PC due to the knowledge element. I say this because you don't know how many people have fallen in love with my PC but ask, how hard would it be to put one in my car? My honest answer: "easy to throw the hardware in but getting it to work right....that's another story unless you are really good with PC's, I'm still struggling with mine". These are all people with aftermarket head units, the desire is there, yet not one of them pursued it other than my brother and he wants out after only months. I suspect the time & cost element would be about equal in loss of customers but I can assure you, which ever is the next greatest issue, it's WAY less than 95%, or else the aftermarket head unit sales would be not much further ahead than we are for "customers".

    So with the right solution, you once again would have a shot at all 100 customers and will lose a lower % of them due to money or time than due to knowledge.

    If you created a product that aftermarket installers trusted, I suspect you would find a lot more market, now you've eliminated the time element so of those 100 people with desire, the only loss would be to money, that isn't one you can easily overcome. Your better off to not cheapen down your process to a point where it marginally works just to capture the penny pinchers. You risk losing a lot more if it doesn't work right. IMO, that's kind of were you are right now.


    If you subscribe to this theory then the answer is:

    Provide a relatively bug free product (product being a disc/download that installs easily on most PC's over top of a fresh copy of windows 8.1) that is almost plug & play with reasonable capability yet still has the ability for the user to play around with it to expand features but has a restore button to put it back to fresh install if he f's it up. A system image button would be a good idea as well: "once you have all of your devices connected, click the "create image" button to create a system image to defer back to". Also an update button would be a good idea for your updates.

    Buy 3 (good/better/best) readily available laptops off the shelf every year and test to ensure your product works flawlessly on them then state that " for the best experience, we suggest a Toshiba XXX, HP Xxxx or a Dell xxxx.

    Dash screen adapters are now available for most vehicles. Using a laptop keeps it all self contained without the issue of loose cards or customers trying to install random cards with driver issues then blaming your product when it doesn't work. Just a P1900 P/S, screen/dash kit and the "approved by CF" USB devices and your install is done, add the Centrafuse disc to the PC then enjoy. If you could include the USB drivers for the approved devices with your software and offer a step by step install, even better. Instead of spending all of your time for updates on new obscure features, spend some of your effort adding to the list of approved USB devices as new/better hardware comes available.

    IMO, that's how you make money off of this niche, not how you remain on the cutting edge, I think they are two different goals...
    My 2007 Ford F350 Work Log located HERE

  6. #16
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    i dont know about you guys, but personally, i never did something because " i needed it". ofc the new OEM builds, or easy DIY Tablet builds can give you some things you need, like "music" or "video" "navigation" or even sometimes speech recognition, but NONE of them, can give you the satisfaction to tell your friend "i have single-handed builded what Mercedess sells you for 2k ". i beleave, that this feeling, is what the CarPc is all about.

    and if you want to take it the next level, in order to still be in front of the OEM builds, then it is not that hard really. a carpc, can implement micro controllers... and with micro controllers you can do literally EVEYTHING. ofc it requires some more knowledge, but its not so hard if you try.. in my car, i control the Car power windows Via the CarPc (and therefore, with speech commands), and soon i will be able to control the AC/Heater... as far as i know, there is but one (Tesla Model S) car that allows you such control viia the infotainment system....
    SO i bealive , in order to achive (apart from personal satisfaction), something more than the OEM builds, then the comunity, should look further , than music playback....
    again, this is just my personal opinion

  7. #17
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    This hobby combines two of my very favorite things...cars and computers. And like any hobby, it can be as much or as little as you desire. It is an expression of personal vision...art if you will. Personal vision has ALWAYS been a part of car culture. This is Donk:

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    I don't like it and wouldn't have it anywhere near my garage...but I DO understand it. And I have taken just a little time to learn about the culture and aesthetic. I want to be able to understand properly executed Donk from stuff that's not so good.

    I feel exactly the same about carPCs. Whether I'm in awe of the craftsmanship and ingenuity on display, or I'd rather burn it with fire, I understand why people do it. And I know good from bad. But I don't believe there's any "right" or "wrong" way to do it, in the overall sense. Whatever floats your boat.

    My word choice is lousy! I should have said "headunit" instead of "Chinese 2Din" and "contemporary" rather than "cutting edge". I still haven't quite figured out how to word stuff in a way that precludes misunderstanding. Probably can't be done.

    This is a business. Whether you like it or not, this hobby would not exist if it were not for people and companies making hardware and software for a profit. Ask yourself why there is no reliable, plug and play Bluetooth solution for the carPC. Zero, None. It's all hit and miss with variations of Bluesoleil and what you hope is a winning combination of $10 dongles, VERY expensive microphones and whatever software solution you can find. And for the vast majority of users, it sucks. So how come nobody fixed that? Because they couldn't make any money doing it. The combination of hardware and software needed to solve this problem put the price of the finished product out of the reach of most users. And the cost of licensing and development put it out of the reach of all the developers. So there is an example of a CORE functionality, something that is always at the top of the list for most desired feature, and it does not exist because nobody can make any money doing it.

    Why isn't there a 7"-8" full HD multi-touch packaged screen available for $150? if you've seen the screen on a Nexus 7, you know exactly what I'm talking about, and you can get it along with the rest of the tablet for $220. So why can't we have just the screen and controller packaged up in a nice little 5v wrapper for $150? Because it is not economically feasible for anyone to do it. There's no money to be made.

    This hobby is too small. Period. We don't get ANY of the most basic "good stuff" because nobody can make any money building and selling it to us. And to return to the premise of my original post...the way to fix that is to expand the hobby. Expand the user base. Increase the size of the market to attract the kind of investment needed to create these solutions. You want a better Centrafuse? Fine, everybody buy a fresh copy and I'll use that money to hire some new developers. That's EXACTLY how it works. You want a fix for Bluetooth or crappy screens. No problem...convince the manufacturers that they can sell enough of them to make a profit. Voila! Create consumer products that increase the size of your market, and you attract and encourage investment. Attract investment, and you get the nice toys we all want at prices we all can afford. Stuff like real, working HUDs, IR night vision, etc. As PhilG and others point out, this hobby is still just too hard for the average Joe. For some of you, that's probably what makes it attractive. But I really believe it will inevitably kill it off if it's not addressed. Soon.

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Champak View Post
    Personally, I think if windows had an android virtualization everything would be perfect. That way the same way Mac can run windows stuff, windows can run android stuff. That one lack to me is stagnating this whole feature from this moving forward or keeping up with the automotive industry on a mass level.
    Those looking for android emulation should look a http://www.bluestacks.com/ it even has play store access. Not sure on GPS though but worth looking into.

  9. #19
    Maximum Bitrate rray's Avatar
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    I played with Bluestacks for a few months, but it's too resource intensive for a carpc. I ran it on an i7 carpc with 8gb ram, so it did not bog me down, but too often it decided to sync with my phone apps, and you had to wait for that process to finish before you could do anthing. Also lots of the apps would not work for me.

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by davedave1234 View Post
    Those looking for android emulation should look a http://www.bluestacks.com/ it even has play store access. Not sure on GPS though but worth looking into.
    Not to derail the thread, but my Bluestacks experience matches rray. It's just not a "finished' product, and 5 minutes on their forums will let you know what support is like. Although they've been able to secure a lot of funding, it's not clear exactly how much (if any) money they make. Their GamePop app seems to be getting all the attention these days, rather than the Bluestacks app.

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