Flash based commercial front end discussion
Is there a market for a commercial front end software package for CarPC usage? There are lots of very nice free / shareware packages using inexpensive vehicle interface modules. But, with being free, one can't have high expectations of them from a reliability, capability and support perspective. That is not to say that some packages don't deliver on several or most of these marks.
The availability of these very inexpensive solutions I believe has kept out commercial offerings that might take it to the next level. So, the question remains - is there a market for a commercial product here?
Here is what is possible:
Flash based user interface with user configurable graphical components that would include media, hardware control (relays, temp sensors and such). Drag and Drop design environment (well beyond skinning). Tintable graphical assets to match your vehicle color scheme.
Movie and MP3 music selection (including coverart) and control. XM and Sirius receiver control. Multiple individual and independent screen support for backseat usage. Adding different media types are upgrades.
Connection with "deluxe" vehicle interface with detailed vehicle data support (OBDII standard plus enhanced data - which would be optional). Library of highly graphical Flash meters, gauges and control switches. 2 way control over some OEM exposed systems. Most high volume brand OEM coverage subscribed on a per vehicle basis. Connection to CarPC with serial or USB.
Now, if the CarPC is internet connected (Wifi or other), then an integrated webbrowser is an option. Also when web connected is downloadable weather data (which can be cached locally on the PC for non connected mode), and control over a home automation system for a seamless Home / Car experience. For example, the Car would notifiy the house that "honey, I am home".
Integration with Mapping services like MapPoint / GPS is a possibility.
The list goes quite further than the above tease.
So, to put you in the ballpark to get conversation going, here is very guestimates on pricing:
Core software = $60
Music / DVD / XM and Sirius support = $60 each
Mapping = $40 plus mapping software
OBD2 hardware device = $150
Meter and Control graphical library update = $80
Now, the above prices seem "expensive" compared to the nice alternatives here. But, are there those that are interested in paying Deluxe pricing for Deluxe products?
Let the discussion begin!!