By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
CES 2014 Las Vegas– VOXX International unveiled new in-car and on-the-go electronics, new takes on rear-seat entertainment systems, and a car-audio marketing partnership with automotive lifestyle brand DUB.
During a press conference yesterday, the company’s new VOXX Electronics subsidiary also unveiled a consumer Iris-scan solution for secure access to on-line accounts from a PC, a charging device to charge electric vehicles at home, and what could be the industry’s first two action videocameras that capture video with a 360-degree perspective.
VOXX Electronics also introduced its first two on-the-go tablets, its first tablet designed expressly for in-vehicle installation, and its first automotive video recorder, which is part of an expanded line of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS).
Through its VOXX Accessories subsidiary, the company also launched multiple audio products under the 808, Acoustic Research, Champ E-Prep Gear, and RCA brands. Almost all are portable Bluetooth speakers.
In new takes on rear-seat entertainment, VOXX Electronics unveiled the $699-suggested eHub in-vehicle content router, which streams content from connected USB devices, SD cards and a built-in DVD player to any tablet or smartphone in the car via Wi-Fi Direct. An optional 4G LTE modem will access web content for distribution to the hand-held devices. It ships early summer
Also in rear-seat entertainment, the company launched its first overhead DVD/monitor and first two headrest DVD/monitors with HDMI/MHL inputs. The inputs turn MHL-enabled smartphones and tablets into audio and video sources for rear-seat entertainment systems. The systems, starting at a suggested $499, display audio and video content stored on a mobile device or streamed from the cloud via the devices’ apps. The HDMI/MHL connection also charges the mobile device.
For identity-theft protection, the company plans June shipments of myris, developed by authentication solution provider EyeLock to make it unnecessary to remember and enter passwords to access on-line accounts from a computer. EyeLock encrypts all of a user’s PC-stored passwords by converting an individual’s iris patterns into a unique code that encrypts the passwords and decrypts them when needed to access on-line accounts and password-protected content. The device, which plugs into a PC’s USB port, will ship later this year at a price less than $300.
For the Jensen car electronics brand, VOXX Electronics announced the Jensen DUB Edition line of car audio amps, speakers and subwoofers targeted to urban youth. Their cosmetics were designed by DUB magazine, which is extending its automotive lifestyle brand to car audio for the first time to join other DUB-branded vehicle accessories.
For use outside the vehicle, VOXX Electronics unveiled the 360Fly video camera, shipping later this year at less than $400. The water-resistant 360Fly is durable enough to be mounted to a motor cross helmet. A smaller $99 version, which attaches to a smartphone, is the $99 360 Micro Fly.
The 360 Fly transfers its 360-degree videos via Wi-Fi to a connected smartphone or tablet, which can upload them to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other social-media channels. On a tablet or phone touchscreen, users can move the video with a finger to view a scene from all angles. The video can also be viewed in one horizontal 360-degree spread.
The technology was developed by a group of innovators from Carnegie Melon University and will be carried exclusively by VOXX.
The tablet designed by VOXX Electronics expressly for in-vehicle installation is the $299-suggested Rear Seat Entertainment In-Vehicle Tablet Solution, which ships in March. The Audiovox-brand system consists of an 8-inch Android tablet that docks into the back of an included headrest. The tablet charges while docked, and the dock transmits tablet audio to a car audio system via wireless FM. Audio can also be played through IR-enabled headphones.
Two other Audiovox-branded tablets designed for traditional on-the-go use are the $159 T752 and $219 T852 Android tablets, shipping in February. The 7- and 8-inch Google-certified Android 4.1 tablets are targeted to consumers wanting “feature-packed systems at an affordable price,” said VOXX Electronics president Tom Malone.
The tablets feature five-point capacitive touchscreen, front-facing speakers, dual front and rear cameras, 1.5GHz dual-core processor, MicroSD slot, HDMI output, and Wi-Fi. The T852 adds Bluetooth and 1064x768 IPS display.
In a related launch, the company unveiled its first universal in-vehicle tablet-mounting system, which holds and charges Androids tablets as well as iPads. The company already offers a mounting system just for iPads. The new model, which clamps onto any vehicle headrest with posts, will retail for a suggested $99 when it ships in March.
The Jensen products offer an “excellent dollar-per-watt value” and will drive Jensen awareness and sales in market segments in which the company lacks a presence, the company said.
The products will be part of DUB magazine events, including custom car showcases and the national DUB Show Tour. They will also appear in DUB magazine ads, DUB TV shows, and in DUB’s online and social-media channels.
Four DUB Edition amps are priced from a suggested $89 to $229. Four two-way speakers and a three-way speaker are priced from $39 to $89. And two subs are priced at $49 and $69. Shipment dates for different models start in April and extend throughout 2014.
In ADAS systems, VOXX Electronics unveiled its first DVR/event recorder, which installs on the windshield behind the rearview mirror to constantly record a vehicle’s travels in case of an accident. It comes with built-in rechargeable battery, cigarette-lighter adapter, and power cable to connect to a vehicle’s power wires.
The company also expanded its line of parking sensors to tap lower prices to reach the entry-level market. Also new is a Multi-View Backup Camera system offering a 190-degree view and an Import Style Backup Camera with 160-degree view.
For OEM audio integration, VOXX Electronics unveiled the UniStream 100, a universal module that adds stereo and hands-free Bluetooth to factory sound systems and comes with USB input to play music from USB-connected iOS devices and mass-storage devices. It also adds Siri hands-free and Google Voice control of Bluetooth-connected smartphones. It ships in March.
The company also announced that it opened a new Southern California product-development facility focused on developing products that enable the addition of satellite radio, smart phones, voice control and Bluetooth to factory systems lacking these capabilities.
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