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Internet Radio in Your Automobile

Posted in auto industry, Car Accessories, Car Tech, Tips, Videos by Vito Rispo | August 1st, 2008 | 1 Response |

I love internet radio, it has more selection than satellite radio and it’s free. Granted most of its crap, but still, even if only 10% of internet radio stations are any good, they still have satellite beat. And remember: free. So why don’t we have it in our cars? The technology obviously exists, I can surf the internet on my tiny little phone. And cheaper manufacturing costs means it’s economically feasible, so whats up?

Most new cars already have small computers and some level of connectivity, but they’re still not interactive the way personal computers are. Microsoft has apparently come out with a new service called “Microsoft Live Search for Devices”, which would allow automakers to install localized search services on in-car navigation systems.

But that’s a proprietary software and system that only lets you do what it wants you to do.
I don’t want that, I don’t want the navigation system sending my location to Microsoft headquarters in real time so they can decide which advertisements to buffet me with. I want the freedom I have with my laptop now.

It really can’t be that hard to install some laptop parts, even low end ones, with a small screen and fold down keyboard where the ashtray usually is. I don’t smoke anyway. And while we’re making up imaginary products, let’s take Microsoft out of the equation. Make it open-source, or at least make it transparent enough so that I can uninstall the Microsoft OS and install one of my own choosing.

I’m really not talking about nuclear physics here, this is do-able. This is easy.
Internet car radio is actually easy enough to do yourself:

The data service shown in the demo is the Sprint Power Vision unlimited for $14.99/month. No additional subscription fees or special software on the phone were required for the radio. It all worked, 100%, out of the box.

And that’s fantastic, but I want the whole package, the whole computer. Does anyone out there have any laptop+car hacks? Anything interesting? Let me know, write it in the comments.

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One Response

  1. Tony Brueski says:

    Its coming! I would say with-in 5 years we will see a fully functional computer and on-line interface in most major automobiles. This will be very interesting to see how satelite radio reacts.

    My thought is this… people like simplicity. Traditional radio and sat radio are very simple to use, Press a button and “wa-la” you have what you want. With the net, you have to –

    1. find your statoin
    2. have a GOOD net connection, and maintain it (try doing that on long drive, even sat has that problem from time to time)

    Although as technology improves, Im sure these issues will be resolved over time as well.