iPods popularity certainly plays a major role in the car radio industry today, not directly from Apple, but from the millions of iPod users. Due to the huge amounts of people who regularly use the iPods on a daily, if not hourly car brand and vehicle manufacturer, they need to redefine how car stereo and entertainment work and what is expected of each component within the system.
Vehicle manufacturers are more aware of public requirements and use additional add-on as sales points in support to promote new ranges and vehicles. However, the majority of factory iPod kits are simply an AUX input of the audio system. This allows music to be played through the speaker system, which is enough for some users. But this option does not offer any of the more advanced features that aftermarket rates do.
So the big question is that vehicle manufacturers see a future with iPod car kits or are they waiting for the next big invention?
The investments from Car Audio Brands suggest that iPod will be here for at least a few years. The larger brands, such as Dension, Alpine & Kenwood, have taken iPod integration to the next level, even in separate directions. Alpine & Kenwood has built completely iPod-compatible aftermarket stereo with new features like imprint technology and HD displays that allow users to configure components depending on music quality and type. Combined with Made for iPod & iPhone, you can make the most of your iPod by finding and playing music and videos much easier than ever before.
However, Dension has made more progress by combining iPod technology with factory-fitted equipment. The Dension Gateway range provides an iPod connection to your factory-mounted stereo so that the original appearance is maintained. Dension Kits also provides control of the iPod and music steering wheel, text display on many vehicles, including the new CAN groups in the VW & Audi group and storage of your CD changer via a CD retention kit at extra cost.
But are these the new components that Dension develops that offers a greater indication of where iPod integration might be on its way?
The soon to be released AVR is designed to work with gateway 500 fiber optic kits, allowing different entertainment sources to be played simultaneously. So for example, adults can listen to their favorite music in front of the vehicle while the children enjoy their favorite DVD in their backs. This step is a major advancement in the car entertainment world and will open up several ways for further development in the future.
Another of Densions products approaching completion is Wi-Drive, this device will, when done, let you integrate your vehicle into the wireless home network, and this has many advantages at first glance. Such as immediate file transfer from computer to vehicle and vice versa. But this device has many more possibilities than was anticipated. A wireless internet connection can be made using the mobile USB dongle currently available from different mobile networks that provide internet to all users in your vehicle.
The possibilities for car support and entertainment and iPod integration in the future are endless, devices such as AVR and Wi-Drive will open many roads for the next stage of development. For example;
Security devices can be invented that provide live streaming from the vehicle to your own computer that monitors your vehicle safety in combination with webcams installed in your vehicle so you can see exactly what happens to your car. Live streaming or downloading music and video clips from iTunes can be played on TV monitors installed in your car using the Wi-Drive and AVR while on the go. Just select and go through your iPod to choose all the latest Apple iTunes has to offer.
TV channels that broadcast live online can watch directly so that new entertainment channels can be integrated into future vehicles, controllable at various points in the car. Perhaps the kids want to watch different TV channels? No problem now.
One thing is clear, Car audio and entertainment business goes on. New and improved technology is created continuously and iPod can really be at the heart of everything.