I Want my Car TV!

Gates envisions tech-savvy car that won’t let itself crash: So we have an article about Microsoft and Auto Tech and still no mention of a Car Media Center PC?

You guys are missing the boat!

The “My Car” Media Center PC would be one of the hottest and exciting things to come our way in a long time. I’ve three times now spent a ton of dough on a crappy Pioneer in dash GPS/DVD entertainment system in my car (they keep breaking the windows and stealing it).

“Gates said Microsoft has an entire product group working only on automotive technology.” Although there were some vague references in the article to HD screens, speech recognition and GPS, what I want to see is an actual MCE in a car.

Imagine this. Your in car media center wirelessly synchs (it’s an extender, remember) with your home Media Center PC and transfers all the movies down for the kids in the back seat. It also uses Orb or at minimum allows you to transfer your 5 star playlist on to it’s hard drive. The kids can play Xbox in the back seat or watch their favorite shows while you mom and dad can listen to your music or (are you ready for this?) your PODCASTS in the front seat… ohhhh, ahhhh, ohhhhh. DVD player of course. Satellite radio of course. You could also have a removable hard drive to move stuff back and forth between your MCE machine and your car Media Center.

The unit would communicate via bluetooth with my AudioVox SMT 5600 smartphone to automatically turn my car MCE into a speaker phone.

Wait, there’s more. A GPS chip in the actual Media Center itself is used as both a GPS unit for directional control (including smart category searches: restaurants, ATMs, gas stations, etc.) of your vehicle as well as a tracking device for your vehicle should it (or the unit) be stolen. Microsoft would have one chip in the unit itself embedded in such a way that you would need to destroy the unit to get it out and one chip hidden elsewhere on the car. The pride of an MCE sticker on your window would scare thieves away even better than the club! Microsoft could partner with Network Car as a start with this technology. By the way, you could use this same technolgy to track your vehicles through MCE. It’s 2 am and your worried about where you son is? Just log on to Media Center, click on “My Car” and blip, there it is, parked outside of his girlfriend’s house.

The unit would use technology like One Voice’s to do various hands free actions. “Lock Doors.” “Open Garage.” “Start Car.” You get the idea.

This is the ultimate in car opportunity and would be a must have option for every high end luxury vehicle out there — not to mention a natural cross sell to the two million, and growing, affluent early adopting Media Center users out there already today.

A $4,000 pair of glasses to fix a car? Ok, maybe. But you guys are crazy not to build the ultimate in car Media Center. It’s a huge natural market and makes sense on so many different levels. Don’t let Pioneer get away with having the best (really crappy) car entertainment system on the market today. You guys could do so much better than them.

Come on Microsoft. Pimp my ride.

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  1. electron says:

    Good news, this is possible now! I have a CarPC which can do most of the items you mentioned 😉

    My CarPC is mini-itx based, runs Windows Media Center, but also runs some other applications/front ends. It automatically syncs new music and videos when the car starts up in the morning, and when I arrive home.

    It can also interface with my home automation, which means it can control the garage door, all my lights, appliances and other toys.

    My home automation system can start my car in the morning after I wake up (it knows when I wake up since I have motion/pressure sensors everywhere), so it gets a chance to syncronize all music, traffic reports, weather reports and other data before I even get in the car.

    Since the CarPC also has a WiFi adapter (802.11g), it can stream video/tv from my media center at home using Orb whenever I am within range of a public hotspot. I will be switching to EVDO once it is available in my area.

    XM radio could be added easily, I just don’t have a need for it since I have ripped all my CD’s to the hard drive.

    The CarPC also has a GPS system, supports voice recognition and voice announcements/directions. It can do much more, but since this is a work in progress (and I am still working on some new software), I can’t mention everything 😉

  2. Anonymous says:

    Hey electron…
    Sounds very nice. Could you tell me about the system you are using?
    which software do you use other than wmc? Also is it just the ordinary Media Center or is it an automobile edition?

    The thing is I wonder how you are able to control so much stuff, and also syncronize the car at home.

    I would love if you could post a few links, from where you get your inspiration.

    Thomas, Denmark
    lau_cph[at]hotmail.com