This year at CES 2012 we came across lots of in-dash video displays and a few select companies providing models running on Android OS. A company here called LEC International which has partnered up with NUR-EL ELEKTRONIK and VIDEOTURISMO to provide two excellent examples of both commercial and consumer in-dash / headrest units.
The more commercial product Buspad designed specifically for ground transportation could make those dreadful and boring bus trips, actually something to look forward to. At CES 2012 we had a chance to sit in the virtual bus to take a tour focusing on user interaction using the 7inch varient of Buspad. For those who are lucky and get to fly Virgin Airlines, you would most likely be able to compare their interactive display with Buspad and what they both accomplish for each passenger.
The way this product is typically installed inside the ground vehicle is no more complicated then a simple client / server network. The setup would require one Super Powerful Server (2 CPU:6Cores*12Threads) Buspad Server that connects to each display via Coaxial and Power. Every other communication from server to device is all wireless. Each server can support up to 60 seat displays but unfortunately can only support a Max 12 Channels Satellite Live TV. I’m sure you would be able to add more hardware to support more live tv but I guess it would be more of a case by case kind of requirement. Full spec sheet can be found here: Buspad Spec Sheet.
In our hands-on video you will see how this interactive screen could very easily entertain you during your travels.
At the end of the video you saw a small preview of another awesome product to look forward to this year which is a car in-dash unit running Android OS. We saw a few of these at CES this year but most were in early development or no hands on unit to try out. Carpad seems to be a promising unit even though we didn’t get to test out a working unit ourselves. I’m sure we can compare the functionality and performance simular to its big brother Buspad but more specific to in car user interaction.
Anyone into technology would love such a setup in their car. Most of us I’m sure have seen many setups of PC’s with a full OS in a car or pics at least somewhere on the internet. What makes Carpad a perfect solution is that its a simplified UI specific to your needs in a car… not to mention it runs Android 2.3 and soon to run Android 4.0. CarPads usual setup consists of the 2 din main unit with 6.95” Digital LCD Screen (resolution: 800 x 480) with the option of add on LCD’s such as visors and headrests. Full spec sheet can be found here: Carpad Spec Sheet.
Overall I personally am very excited to see what this company comes out with later this year. As they already have success in non US countries, it shouldn’t be far away until you spot a few Android powered cars running around your town. In the past I have personally modified car dashes and installed Windows CE powered computers and the results were “okay”. I think Android with a custom UI could be the answer to the solution I was always looking for and if you are the least bit interested, check it out yourself! You can find more about this product and company contacts on how to get one of these units yourself at http://www.lec.hk.