Rydeen Showing Android-Powered Radio at CES 2012
In an era when automotive aftermarket companies are working to integrate portable media players and phones to factory and aftermarket car audio systems, Rydeen Mobile Electronics is taking a different tack at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show (CES), held in Las Vegas, Nev. The renowned provider of vehicle safety and convenience solutions is showing a beta version of the upcoming DV621, a double-DIN head unit that uses a native Android® user interface. Visitors to CES can see the DV621 at booth #6421 in the Driver Safety / Location-Based Services (LBS) Tech Zone in the North Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center, Jan. 10-13.
“We have looked at many head units that try to mimic the ‘touch and swipe’ user experience of today’s smartphones and tablets, only to fall short due to poor processing power and other drawbacks,” said Marcos Duran, product director at Rydeen. “Still others have endeavored to recreate the icon-based interface using a connection to the smartphone. We’ve decided to remove these natural roadblocks and give users the exact experience, by turning the head unit into an Android device.”
Rydeen DV621The Rydeen DV621 Android-powered Multimedia Receiver features hardware buttons, a main control knob and a 6.2-inch WVGA TFT color touch screen at 800×480 pixels that displays a customized version of the Android interface. The UI is designed to be ergonomically applicable to the vehicle environment with large icons that are well-spaced, minimizing driver distraction. TheDV621 is powered by an ARM Cortex A8 1GHz processor overlaid with Android OS 2.2. The head unit includes an add-on GPS antenna to deliver Rydeen’s visual map navigation software, or the user can select to use Google Navigation via the app selection. Internet / email access is achieved using a customer supplied dongle, which connects via a rear USB port.
Like a traditional multimedia head unit, the DV621 includes a built-in, 4-channel amplifier that delivers up to 45 watts per channel. Two sets of low-level RCA audio connectors plus a dedicated subwoofer output allow the addition of aftermarket amplifiers. An additional audio/video output enables connection of additional video monitors for the rear seat, and dual-zone functionality allows rear-seat passengers to watch different content. The disc slot enables playback of MP3, WMA, JPEG, H.264 and MPEG4 on CD and DVD, and inputs for SD cards, USB drives and auxiliary audio/video are accessible from the front panel. The PLL AM/FM tuner is complemented by 18 FM and 12 AM station presets.
Built-in Bluetooth with the A2DP protocol allows the DV621 to function as a handsfree system as well as deliver streaming music from a connected portable device through the audio system. The mic is built into the front panel of the unit, though a separate mic connection is also available.
“It’s not just about making a pretty interface, it’s also about leveraging the customer’s trained interaction,” continued Duran. “Android-powered smartphones are the hottest sellers, and more people in the U.S. own Android-powered handsets than any other operating system. This means they are used to finding their favorite apps, moving them into the ideal places for easy access, and creating a personalized experience. We tried to keep that same interaction sequence as much as possible without adding the potential for distraction. As a result, there is a faster mastery of the system and higher satisfaction with the head unit because the user does not have to learn yet another interface.”