ok, you probably saw all the recent hype about Apple’s iPhone, and all the speculation on this much rumoured device.
Wondering what would start being hyped out next, some ideas I thought.
Apple Car stereo
Seriously, this would be a good idea.
Why is the iPod the best MP3 player? its not the most feature packed, but one thing Apple always does well as engineer software well. Someone really sat down and designed the user interface and tested it, and thats why a lot of multi-everything PDAs, smart phones, or MP3 players that do video normally suck. Working once at one of the UK’s biggest computer retailers has let me see some gadgets that are just awful as the user interface that strings all the parts together is just shoddy. How many electronics devices are released and then you have to get a firmware update later to make it work right?
Majority of car stereos I have seen suck. Normally lots of tiny buttons that are hard to see and operate whilst driving, too many flashing light patterns, a Vaccuum display which doesnt display the track or radio very clearly, a digital clock (why do you need one when all cars have a clock on the dash?) Sony car radios were some of the worst for user design, when they make a loud irritating beep when you wanted to press any of the controls.
The Apple iAuto
my thoughts would be the main head unit would have a minimal of electronic guts and a 80gb laptop hard disk mounted on some kind of rubber shockpads. Some proprietry connector on the back to interface your steering column controls (let Belkin, etc sell some after market adapter cables for your car) The removable faceplate would house all the main bits, and would only be a slim piece of plastic the size of an iPod Nano, of minimalistic design and have the colour screen with nice easy to read icons and would have touch controls to operate. The faceplate would snap on using some little magnets, not some stupid easily breakable latches. Apple’s attention to detail would be ideal for this kind of product, and if even if you couldnt afford the high price expected one, it would raise the standard for the rivals to do a better job of making something similar.
Copying the songs to your PC would be a SD card slot on the back of the faceplate and come bundled with a 1GB card, this would require a few backward and forward trips from PC to car to get a large music collection on your ride, but dont think most people would mind.
Google branded Satnav kit
This would be cool. I dont have a satnav kit and dont often drive outside of my city, but get Google’s well known Contextual ads flashing on the unit discretely to advertise hotels and restaurants would be good. To keep your satnav upto date, you would need to plug it into your PC once a month to keep the service working. This would mean the units would be more affordable and mean map updates be free.
I also think for safety reasons the more advanced features should be locked out whilst the vehicle is moving. The motion sensors in the Nintendo Wii console’s controller will now doubt be available in other devices at some point soon, this could do the job well.