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Thread: Have tablets killed the use of CarPCs?

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by hithere View Post
    Sirius/XM functionality: Yup, I know of no tablet interface that will incorporate satellite-fed radio. The streaming app is pretty good (arguably better than satellite, better SQ, better features), but requires mobile broadband. I will say this, however: These in-car computing platforms, be it PC, iOS, or Android, really open up with mobile broadband, and this becomes something of a non-issue for many people that use their carPCs in this way. I'm more into podcasts now than I am satellite, even though I maintain an online subscription. Given the simplicity of the USB interface for sirius, for example, I'm thinking it'll be a matter of time before someone thinks of a way to get a tablet to talk to it.
    I have no interest in a broadband connection in my car. One strength of satellite radio is that it is available everywhere. If I'm on a roadtrip out of cell range, streaming doesn't do me any good. If I'm driving around town, streaming doesn't do me any good if I'm short on spare GBs with my cell plan.

    Tablets are certainly the easy way to add multimedia functionality to a car, but there are some fairly significant drawbacks. I'll also agree that there are some fairly significant drawbacks to a PC setup too. Lots of hardware, including hardware specifically designed for the "MP3Car" hobby, is just not well suited for packaging in tight automotive spaces.
    Some links added by the forum, I did not add them, they are not necessarily representative of my thoughts or opinions. Links may have been edited in without my permission.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by hithere View Post
    the interface between the (inferior) touch screen and PC
    I disagree with the statement that the transflective lilliput screens are inferior to a tablet's screen.

    Yes, the PQ under bright sun from a tablet's screen is better, but just wait until the sun hits it and is reflected into your eyes. Highly reflective capacitive screens are blinding when the sun hits it, and in a car like mine with a large sunroof this is a major problem. The transflective lilliput does wash out under those conditions, but I'm not blinded by it and scrambling for the sunroof shade.

    There's also the issue of wearing gloves and inadvertent taps of the screen. It's really easy to brush the wrong part of a capacitive screen, especially when the car is moving. If you brusth the wrong part of a resistive screen it doesn't register. This is why virtually, if not all OEM screens are resistive.

    Function over form in a car environment.
    Some links added by the forum, I did not add them, they are not necessarily representative of my thoughts or opinions. Links may have been edited in without my permission.

  3. #23
    Maximum Bitrate Mickz's Avatar
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    If I may post a different (and less common these days) perspective on this.

    Most of us have seen this question and the arguments from both camps many times. To me it has really always been an argument between different operating systems and the limitation on hardware imposed by those differences. Especially now that Window (Full Win8 not ARM) Tablets with full capacitive touch are appearing.

    IMHO the question really should have been. Can a Tablet replace the PC as a multimedia device in a vehicle? For me that question now changes with the introduction of a Windows OS tablet.

    Before I get jumped on, the MAJOR problem with forum debates is with "our own" definition of what a CAR-PC really is and what a multimedia device is. A CAR-PC for me is an integrated control system that INTERFACES into the Vehicle electronics and electrical system. That is not a multimedia device although it also performs that task.

    As time passes and Vehicles evolve, that interface requirement is becoming redundant. So for a lot of new users that requirement is now purely for a form of Multimedia device.

    But here is the problem I have with this Touch screen FE usability debate. Once again don't jump on me for stating a FACT that you don't want to hear. It may not apply to your location (YET), but the reports are getting louder and louder in the press and in some Countries, laws have / are been changed.

    FACT for my location in AU.

    1. It is illegal to use a touch screen whilst in control of a Motor Vehicle.
    2. In control means you are NOT parked somewhere.
    3. It's illegal to touch a GPS or a Mobile Phone whilst in control of a Vehicle.

    Latest road statistics are showing over 25% (and rising sharply) of accidents are caused by driver distraction. There are now campaigns specifically targeting the use of Mobile Phone, GPS, changing CD's and any other forms of driver inattention. They have imported cameras that look through the windscreen from 1/2 a mile away and detect any use of a dash mounted device or Mobile.

    Once again, you can vent, rage, pick exceptions, problems or laugh at the above, it won't do you any good when the $300 fine appears and you lose your licence when demerit points mount. Want to fight it court? bring money, lots of money.

    The point of this: I don't use a touch screen to control the FE. Control is via steering wheel buttons and / or the centre Control panel next to the driver's seat. This is why up until recently the only device that would do what I wanted was a Windows based device.

    Again this means (in some cases) having to write your own FE. Although I see FE's adding physical control inputs, true multi integrated FE control seems to still be a roll your own affair. My GPS app is perfect for me and is as good as, if not better, than my Standalone GARMIN GPS. I have a dedicated USB phone module coded into the FE. Always ready to go and completely hands free or again, full manual operation from the control panel between the seats.

    Finally, this is where say a 10" Windows tablet (running full Win8) can now be installed and the USB HUB plugged in. Every USB interface device in the vehicle along with my SW and FE will now work as before with the FE completely operated from Vehicle hardware controls.

    Recap: I'm highlighting a more specialised use for a CAR-PC, some of us need this and so the argument has been moot for us up until now. Whatever you may think of the LAW's regarding touch screen use, don't argue it with me, send you're complaints, ridicule or flames to the Government, it is what it is.
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  4. #24
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    You won't hear any arguments from me on the legality of the device. Using a tablet instead of a Windows PC and a front end that emulates an OEM interface would likely be prohibited in Canada as well.

    This is why I advocate strongly for a good front-end that meets the design and usability criteria that the auto-makers must meet for their systems.


    So in Australia, is it illegal to press the buttons on a factory head unit to change the radio station, adjust the volume etc...? It's illegal here to operate or program a dash mounted GPS while not parked, but not illegal to change the station on your head-unit as the law applies to hand-held devices (regardless if they're mounted, they're still intended for hand-held use).


    And half-mile cameras? Talk about big brother privacy invasion. I think I'd emigrate.
    Some links added by the forum, I did not add them, they are not necessarily representative of my thoughts or opinions. Links may have been edited in without my permission.

  5. #25
    Maximum Bitrate Mickz's Avatar
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    Yes the Camera is imported so they may be in use already in other Countries but not for this particular application, they discussed these devices and showed some of the captured images on TV about 8 month ago when warning about the regulations.

    GPS has to be mounted to the lower drivers side of the front Windscreen. Must not obstruct and forward view in any way and as stated no touch once in control (not parked).

    The other thing is that ANY removable device installed in a vehicle must be attached with a mounting device that has been approved by the manufacture for Vehicle use AND to a location that is designed to support that device - Tablet mounts need not apply, at least none that I've seen so far.

    Debate already on newer OEM devices and legality of touch use whilst driving, once again Steering controls or centre console controls should already be available on these newer vehicles. Ridiculous calls for Mobile Phone ban in vehicles but you get totally loony ideas like this everywhere though. Trouble is, as more people die on our roads, more rules will introduced and enforced.

    The problem is these days you have to prove you were in full control of the vehicle AND not distracted if you're caught reaching for the anything other than a Specific control applicable to Vehicle Driving, I don't think " I didn't like that station counts" SO it comes back to Steering Wheel controls or Voice activated. I also find Voice activation a TOTAL distraction at times, but that's just me I guess.
    Last edited by Mickz; 12-13-2012 at 07:34 PM.
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  6. #26
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    Sheesh. No doubt some of those policies have been dreamed up by the goons at Monash University and their friends at Redflex, too. Frankly I'm surprised they let anyone drive there at all!

    I do support mobile phone bans. I've seen so many people run lights or hit other cars while blabbering on the phone distracted by the conversation. Texting and driving is becoming a big issue too.

    If I want to unwrap a chocolate bar while stopped at a light, I'll do so, damnit. I feel sorry for those who are constantly feeling like they're having to watch over their shoulders.
    Some links added by the forum, I did not add them, they are not necessarily representative of my thoughts or opinions. Links may have been edited in without my permission.

  7. #27
    Maximum Bitrate Mickz's Avatar
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    I'm just on my way out, but you mentioned unwrapping a chocolate bar whilst driving. Are you ready -- Police warning the other day for the holiday season - Police are targeting people eating whilst driving, along with everything else already mentioned that can distract a driver from the task of driving. - RUN!

    EDIT: Driving means not parked - Stopped at a Traffic light is considered to be in control of a vehicle so - you are driving.

    EDIT 2:

    They were taking about a TOTAL ban of all phones in Vehicles Fixed or hand held, like I said loony. I totally agree with you on a Hand Held Mobile ban (already in force here) . My farther nearly died because of some %^&* texting, also see them running RED Lights all the time, weaving into the wrong lane and on and on.
    Last edited by Mickz; 12-13-2012 at 07:50 PM.
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    T-Screen HVAC control, custom microcontrollers, code and FE. CarPC Project

  8. #28
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    Mickz, sorry for your dad man ... here in Brazil the biggest target in last 2 years and will continue, is alcohol + drive....here the media is doing a lot of strong advertisements in tv, radio, newspapper, etc.....

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by sebberry View Post
    I disagree with the statement that the transflective lilliput screens are inferior to a tablet's screen.

    Yes, the PQ under bright sun from a tablet's screen is better, but just wait until the sun hits it and is reflected into your eyes.
    Maybe it's my car, but I haven't seen that yet. Yes, bright sunlight degrades the experience, but I've never run into a situation where I couldn't read it clearly.
    I have too much time and too little aggravation in my life, so I built a carPC. ;)

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    I'm not sure how people go "offline" with all thier entertainment. I couldn't properly function without live sports broadcasts and other live radio. Just flipping around on FM is a nice change of pacee. Sure, you can do pandora if you pay enough to have wifi in your car, but for the cost, you still don't have live radio without some other subscription(s).

    I am curious as to why this carpc thing seems to be dying. Lots of front-end forums that look a lot like ghost towns. Is everyone going to tablets now, or is there some other reason for the reduced interest in this?

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