OK, back to the topic..... As you all know I am a psychopath about multi zone. I currently have a system in place, but to achieve what I wanted, I had to use 2 computer, one which is hexacore based setup. If you guys think wiring in your installs is crazy, try mine that has enough wire to wrap around my car 9 or 10 times and I drive a big SUV. Now in the future, I do plan to buy another SUV (2012 Dodge Durango) and maybe a tablet setup is more appropriate. Now the thing about my current setup is that you have one PC that creates a shared environment for movies, gaming, all the heavy multi media stuff. If though a user wants to do his own thing, they can switch over to a person environment.
My question is, have tablets come far enough to were I can have a shared environment and then they can switch to a personal setup?
So here is my problem with tablets and PCs. I love the power of a PC and windows is very powerful if you know how to use it. Apples marketing changed some of the public view of this along with windows ignorant users, but the point stands (Not an apple fan if you hadn't guessed). I love having every program under the sun work with an OS. With a tablet, I am restricted by hardware. What if I want to plug an RV cam into the tablet? What if I want to upgrade the SFX card and processing? What if I want a USB3 SSD? What if...? But, there are major problems with a PC in the current environment that make tablets so much more interesting.
1) Instant on
2) Quality of PC touchscreens.
3) Lack of mobility
With that said, tablets now have bluetooth and wifi. They have almost every function I want, but the hardware is behind the place that I need it. Asus has almost gotten there, Ill be it for $1100. But if they gave the the missing features I need, I would switch tomorrow. BTW IMO for car PCs I would rather a full OS.
Thats why I believe in the "black box" idea for tablets. Tablets are not and will not be made for the car. BUT, with this black box, you will be able to add usb 3.0 devices, hard drives, gps pucks, fusion brains. all of that stuff we love. But using the tablet as the interface, and the black box as the hardware connection point.
Especially if you're looking for the box to handle converting from each individual device protocol to some "standard" format, be it bluetooth, serial, or wifi communications. I think what we need, are some more concrete examples of exactly what you're missing from the tablets that this black box would do. Some specific examples, such as: Android tablets have no way to support the Fusion Brain, so we would need an USB host hardware, some kind of conversion hardware that can talk to both the Fusion Brain, and the Android app via some type of method (Bluetooth and wifi are the easy ones with Android)
Seems like this "black box" is primarily necessary for ARM tablets (Android/iOS), as x86 tablet's don't have any of the hardware incompatibility issues you're looking at.
Give some solid examples for us to build upon.
So my guess is that a tablet setup will not do what my current setup can do.
You are on the right track. Android tablets can read data via the USB port, Wifi and BT. So this box, lets call it a sheeva plug for now. So a linux based mini computer. You would plug in a USB hard drive to the sheeva plug, which would send the data to the tablet via 1 of the 3 previously mentioned communication paths. An API would be created for android, so that apps could be written to easily use whatever data was coming in.
The same concept could be used for fusion brain. A black box would be an IO box, allowing all kinds of IO, and it would output all that data in some standardized format that apps for any tablet OS would understand and write apps upon.
I think Wifi would probably be the most cross-compatible method to use, have your central black box (Sure, let's call it a "sheeva". Nice name ;) ) basically broadcasting information on a local wifi network (encrypted if you like). Any device you bring in, be it a tablet, your phone, whatever... would have access to this network, and to all the functions that this box has. Fusion Brain controls, OBD2 data, Radio and music control (Think: Everyone in the car with a cell phone being able to fight for control of the music, or locking out everyone but yourself).
The possibilities are quite awesome when you put it that way.
Take it one step further: Use a full blown x86 PC, add in your fancy sound card with 5.1 digital surround sound, whatever the hell else you need the processing power for. Same interface to the same Tablet/Phone/whatever. NOW you're on to something. Don't replace the carpc, re-think it. Get all the benefits of the carpc, plus all the benefits of the tablet.