By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Torrance, Calif. – Alpine has begun shipping its first in-dash head unit with MirrorLink, which enables control of a smartphones’ core functions from touchscreen-equipped in-dash aftermarket and OEM head units.
The head unit is the $800-suggested ICS-X7HD, a mech-less model promoted as an “in-dash app receiver” with 7-inch WVGA touchscreen.
MirrorLink is an industry-standard technology that enables touchscreen-equipped OEM and aftermarket head units to control and stream content from MirrorLink-compatible smartphones that run the handset suppliers’ MirrorLink app.
Samsung and Nokia offer MirrorLink-compatible smartphones. Aftermarket companies with MirrorLink-compatible head units include Sony and JVC.
MirrorLink-compatible heads control a compatible phone’s calling, music, and location-based functions, including playback and control of stored music and music apps, voice-calling functions, display of phone contacts, album art display, and control and display of location-based features such as Google Maps for turn-by-turn navigation, accessing Google Street View, and choosing other Google location options. The interfaces were designed to be driver-friendly.
The ICS-X7HD features 7-inch WVGA touchscreen, HD Radio, stereo Bluetooth, Made for iPod/iPhone USB port, Pandora internet radio control via an iPhone or Android smartphone, hands-free Bluetooth control of an iPhone’s Siri voice-control function. and iPhone access to Harman’s Aha cloud-based audio infotainment service. Aha, designed for OEM and aftermarket radios, delivers multiple Internet radio and podcast services to the car. The ICS-X7HD is Alpine’s first head unit with Aha compatibility.
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