SEMA News—August 2011

Are You Entertained?

Innovations for Audio, Video, Safety and Performance

   
   
As technology evolves, the term “mobile electronics” becomes somewhat ambiguous. A few years ago, it clearly referred to automobile electronics. But with the advent of cell phones, portable navigation, electronic gaming and portable DVD—among multitudes of other evolving systems—mobile electronics now also refers to any self-contained electronic device that can be easily transported. One of the major trends rippling through the automotive specialty-equipment industry is the merging of the two definitions.

Many safety and performance systems as well as traditional audio and video used to be restricted to hardwired installations. But smartphones, such as Blackberry, iPhone, Android and others, are creating a revolution in not only how navigation, audio and video are used, but also how vehicle maintenance and troubleshooting are performed, and we are already seeing communications from vehicle to vehicle as well as between vehicles and the infrastructure. Tablet computers, the latest innovation, are beginning to add yet another subgroup to the definition of mobile electronics.

As shown on these pages, more than 40 new mobile-electronics products were unveiled at the 2010 SEMA Show, including a wealth of devices that are compatible with smartphone technologies. We’ve also gathered comments about the current state and future of the industry from executives with some of the top companies in the field. As with electronics and automobiles, the combination is informative as well as entertaining.

     

Cimble
C.A.N.S.
936/334-1600
www.cimble.com
PN: cans-t-2-00

Controls your vehicle with cell phone apps. Packages include remote alarm status, door locking and unlocking, rolling windows up and down plus vent positioning for car cool-down.

 

Escort/Beltronics Radar Detectors
Passport iQ
888/265-9391
www.escortinc.com  

The all-new Passport iQ by Escort is the world’s first and only convergence of advanced automotive technologies, including radar/laser detection, 3-D GPS navigation and optional Bluetooth hands-free calling. The ultimate driving companion.

     

DGE Inc.
Gateway 4
248/293-1300
www.dgeinc.com  

DGE’s Gateway development platform provides vehicle accessory developers with a cost-effective means to interface with standard vehicle communication buses, including CAN, LIN, K-Line, etc.

 

DriveNTalk
BHF-2000
+82-10-6319-8250
www.driventalks.com
PN: BHF-2000

BHF-2000 realizes a true definition of Bluetooth wireless hands-free. Features, such as voice sensing and solar, make it unnecessary for users to physically touch the unit.

     

Monster
iMotion CarPlay
Direct Connect
415/330-2610
www.monstercable.com
PN: AI 3000 CCHGR V2

Monster’s iMotion CarPlay Direct Connect charging device features an innovative in-car hand motion-control connection that lets drivers actually use simple hand gestures to control their iPod, iPhone or iPad!

 

DGE Inc.
Ram Truck Upfitter Module
248/293-1300
www.dgeinc.com
PN: 10805A

Ram Truck Upfitter Module (RTUM) provides
a cost-effective data communication link to the OEM data bus for added equipment or consumer electronics devices.

     

  Doug Newcomb  
   

The biggest trend we’re seeing is smartphone integration. People have their whole lives on these devices—their music, photos, calendar items, e-mail, social networks. It’s a huge thing with both the carmakers and aftermarket right now.

The smartphone is important because of its connection to the Internet, also called “the cloud.” Instead of having everything built into the car, you have it streamed over a wireless Internet connection. You don’t have to have the music nor a navigation system in the car; you have it on the phone. The only downside is that if you lose your cell connection, you lose your music or your way.

Internet radio is a another big trend. A lot of companies—Pioneer, Alpine and Kenwood—introduced head units that can stream Pandora radio. There’s also a new system that I just tried called Mog, which is kind of a cross between Pandora and an iPod. It’s a subscription-based system that allows you to stream music that you personally select.

Retailers and installers need to be aware of what’s happening with phone integration. The aftermarket has the opportunity to provide these technologies to people who want to keep an existing car or buy a car that doesn’t offer these systems.

—Doug Newcomb
Senior Editor, Technology, Edmunds.com

     

GoPoint Technology
GL2
248/232-3078
www.gopointtech.com
PN: 9100

The GoPoint Technology GL2 allows DIY and professional mechanics to use their Apple iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch to access enhanced diagnostics and repair information.

 

GoPoint Technology
BT1
248/232-3078
www.gopointtech.com
PN: 9105

The GoPoint Technology BT1 allows DIY and professional mechanics to use their Apple, Android or Windows device to access enhanced diagnostics and repair information.

     

Escort/Beltronics Radar Detectors
Solo S3
888/265-9391
www.escortinc.com

The Solo S3 is the most powerful combination of long-range radar and laser detection without the reliance on a power cord.

 

ETL-Secure Logic
Secure Logic ezVault
775/398-7680
www.securelogiconline.com

The ezVault: compact, easy to install, peace of mind.
It can be placed anywhere: auto, home, recreation or office.

     

Escort/Beltronics Radar Detectors
Passport Qi45
888/265-9391
www.escortinc.com

The Passport Qi45 is a fully integrated, high-performance radar and laser detector system that offers award-winning performance in a discreet custom-installed unit.

 

Kleinn Air Horns
HammerDown Truck Horn Kit
520/579-1531
www.kleinn.com
PN: 102P2

Super-loud dual truck horn package. Includes 130-psi compressor, 1-gallon air tank, wiring kit, horn button and tubing. Complete package.

     

Winner Best New Mobile-Electronics Product

Directus
Prodigy One
810/355-2266
www.DirectusNav.com
PN: TD-PD1001

The first multi-functional automotive plug-and-play device that brings navigation, safety and entertainment into one device.

Prodigy Series is a compact unit that integrates easily with many OEM and aftermarket screen-based radios and mirror display systems.

 
   Adam Thomas Vice President of Marketing, Clarion Corp.
   
We’re seeing increasing smartphone integration into car electronics, and a lot of people think tablets will increasingly come into the vehicle in the aftermarket as well. We’re also going to see a lot of focus on safe human/machine interfaces (HMI) as more features are added to aftermarket radios. We at Clarion are very keen on HMI and bringing media and consumers together in a mobile environment. For example, our NX501 is a double-DIN multimedia navigation unit and is a good example of HMI that allows consumers to access more content in the vehicle, whether it’s iPod, AM/FM or HD radio connectivity. It makes the head unit fun to use but also safe.

As carmakers become more aggressive with technology, aftermarket manufacturers and retailers need to offer something different. In the past, it was always aftermarket first; now you have somewhat even footing, depending on the car company. Retailers will want to offer products with advanced features, more real-time services and smartphone connectivity. We made similar transitions in the past when CD started to go to MP3. We saw it with iPod integration and USB, and I think the evolution now is smartphones. Capitalize on those products.

—Adam Thomas
Vice President of Marketing, Clarion Corp.

     

MITO Corp.
BlueConnect
800/433-6486
www.mitocorp.com
PN: 55-1346BC

A hands-free Bluetooth kit that works in English, Spanish and French right out of the box. Available in six colors to seamlessly integrate with a vehicle’s interior.

 

MITO Corp.
Gentex 3.5-in. Rear Camera Display Auto-Dimming Mirror
800/433-6486
www.mitocorp.com
PN: 50-GENK332

Fits almost any vehicle and, with a camera, gives the driver a view of what is directly behind the vehicle. Brightest display available.

     

Radiantz Inc.
Devil Eyes
541/469-7462
www.radiantz.com
PN: 3051-10

Color-changing LED ringz. Comes in six different sizes. They are cuttable to make different sizes.

 

Laser Interceptor
The Ultimate Laser Jammer
352/688-0708
www.laser-interceptorusa.com
PN: LI-D

Laser Interceptor—the ultimate laser jammer.

     

Monster
Ultra-Slim, High-Performance Bluetooth Car Kit
415/330-2600
www.monstercable.com
PN: MBL BTCARKIT

The Monster CarTalk Bluetooth Car Kit (SRP: $79.95) is an all-in-one, on-the-road solution for enjoying exceptional audio from an unobtrusive compact Bluetooth car speakerphone.

 

Myron and Davis
In-Dash Navigation system
909/796-3385
www.myronanddavis.com  

For the ’08–’11 Toyota Highlander.

     

Runner-Up Best New Mobile-Electronics Product

Cobra Electronics
iRadar Detection System
773/889-8870
www.cobra.com
PN: IRAD 100

Bluetooth-enabled radar/laser/red light camera detector that works with iPhone/iPod Touch

•High performance detector that detects all radar & laser guns currently in use
•Displays visual alerts on the Cobra iRadar app using iPhone/iPod Touch device's Bluetooth wireless technology connection
•Alerts to speed and red light cameras, known speed traps, and dangerous intersections when connected to the Cobra iRadar app
•Control detector settings from the iPhone/iPod Touch
•View AURA locations and alert history in the app’s Map View mode

 

 
   
   
The emergence of mobile devices has been exponential. Designing accessories for people’s lifestyles has been our biggest challenge and our biggest product offering in the last few years. Scosche offers everything from high-end sound systems that require professional installation to iPhone Bluetooth kits and simple mounts for mobile devices. Power charge, connectivity and mounting accessories are gaining market share.

Users are going more toward smartphones with built-in applications and navigation software and trending away from in-dash nav devices. We make mounts and audio connectors to hold smartphones that can play turn-by-turn navigation through the car’s sound system.

Retailers and installers need to be aware of all the different mobile solutions and their price points. They need to find out from their manufacturers what accessories they might be missing. They need to have the right charging cables, iPod 30-pin connectors, Bluetooth kits, cases and backup batteries. People are buying these things. If dealers don’t carry these items, they’re leaving money on the table. Dealers need to understand that they should have high-end professional installation but also daily necessities for powering, charging and protecting.

—Kas Alves
Executive Vice President, Scosche
 

     

NSV Automotive
Daytime Running Light
+61-40-48-48-660
www.nsvauto.com  
PN: NSV DRL

NSV’s OE-designed daytime running lights are
appealing and significantly reduce the likelihood of
frontal impacts. Countries are making DRLs mandatory for these safety reasons. NSV DRLs meet ECE and SAE design rules.

 

Oracle Lighting
Oracle ColorShift Halo Kit
800/407-5776
www.oraclelights.com
PN: OH1011CHCA-CS

Oracle ColorShift halo kits can change to any color with the push of a button from our wireless controller. Many new vehicle applications available.

     

Premier Auto Products
Plate Flipper
814/898-2811
www.premierautoproducts.com
PN: VPF2

Universal license plate flipping bracket that flips the licence plate down to provide access to hidden gas filler nozzles behind the license plate.

 

Rosen Entertainment Systems
Seat-Back Entertainment System
951/898-9808
www.rosenentertainment.com
PN: AV7700

Seat-back entertainment system with a patent-pending mounting system, dual 7-in. LCDs with DVD, 25 video games, an aux input, a USB and more.

     

Road Mice
Road Mice
949/715-0379
www.4doormedia.com

Computer car mouse in the shape of popular automobiles: Corvette, Camaro, Mustang, Viper, PT Cruiser and many more.

 

Scosche Industries Inc.
S3-1
805/486-4450
www.scosche.com
PN: S3-1

The S3-1 is a radio replacement interface with steering-wheel controls. It covers 125+ applications, compatible with more than 40,000,000 vehicles on the road.

     

  Kevin Campbell 
   
All of us are trying to deliver solutions to the consumers’ demand for wireless integration of the car to their mobile devices and all their information. They want flexibility, power and performance in a small, efficient and lightweight package. The trend toward storing music on mobile devices and away from CDs has diminished the sales of traditional aftermarket head units.

Mobile-electronics parts retailers and installers need to commit to staying on the cutting edge in terms of trends, product knowledge and techniques that will distinguish their work. They need to remember to promote their businesses and not simply their brands. Their greatest opportunities lie in promoting their expertise and the fact that they have the knowledge and skill to enhance the consumers’ driving experience. It’s their knowledge that gives them the edge over the competition.

Succeeding at keeping the category foremost in the minds of consumers during challenging financial times will be the most significant hurdle. Remember why you got into this business—the passion and the pride—and commit to ongoing education to stay ahead of the competition.

—Kevin Campbell
Global Marketing Director, Kicker

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