updated 04:25 pm EST, Fri January 16, 2009
Blaupunkt Internet radio
At CES, automotive car audio hardware manufacturer Blaupunkt and Australian-based Internet radio website miRoamer, showed off what they call is the world's first Internet radio-capable head unit for vehicles. The challenge of getting an Internet connection in a moving car is solved by relying on a Bluetooth-connected, data-enabled cellular phone. The phone connects to miRoamer and has access to more than 16,000 stations from around the world.
Blaupunkt has shown two Internet radio-ready head units, the double-DIN New Jersey and the conventionally-sized Hamburg. As browsing so many Internet stations while driving is ill-advised, the miRoamer website will allow users to create profiles with their favorite stations for quicker and easier in-car access. Users will also have access to their phone's address books and navigation functions, if so equipped, via the head units thanks to the Bluetooth connection.
The head units will, at least initially, be optional in new vehicles only, though which car manufacturers will offer them has not been announced. Cars equipped with the systems will begin rolling out later this year. Pontiac is one manufacturer who offers an optional Blaupunkt stereo, albeit without Internet radio, in the Australian-built G8. It is expected to be only a matter of time before the Internet head units from Blaupunkt are offered in the aftermarket. [via CoolestGadgets]
Blaupunkt New Jersey