By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Dallas – Sony came to MERA’s Knowledgefest with its latest MirrorLink-equipped in-dash A/V head unit, which also features the company’s App Remote technology and accepts an outboard GPS navigation module.
The XAV-602BT receiver and XA-NV300T navigation module will be available in October and retail for about $549 and $249, respectively, through Sony Stores, online at www.sony.com/car, and authorized dealers.
The navigation module features TomTom’s user interface and mapping technologies, including TomTom’s IQ Routes, promoted as the world’s most comprehensive database of travel-time estimates to evaluate route options based on actual historical traffic speeds rather than posted speed limits.
The module connects via USB and includes an SD Card that contains TomTom’s maps.
Using industry-standard MirrorLink technology, the head unit’s 6.1-inch touchscreen streams content from MirrorLink-compatible Android smartphones and displays a driver-friendly on-screen user interface. The on-screen interface of each brand of MirrorLink smartphone looks the same on any MirrorLink-compatible aftermarket or OEM head unit.
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.
Sony’s MirrorLink head units are compatible with the Xperia Z and ZL smartphones, select Samsung smartphones, and select Symbian-based Nokia phones.
JVC and Alpine also offer MirrorLink-enabled head units.
With Sony’s App Remote feature, the head unit is able to launch any Android app, including navigation and YouTube, and select iPhones apps, including major music-streaming apps and navigation apps. A Sony app must be running on the phones.
For USB-connected iPhones, the iPhone version of the app enables head-unit control of multiple functions of more than 100 music-streaming apps, whereas other-brand head units control only a handful of music-streaming apps on USB-connected iPhones, Sony has said.
With the Android version of the app, the head unit extends wireless Bluetooth control of any Android-stored music-streaming app beyond track up/down and play pause to include app volume. The app also expands a head unit’s wireless Bluetooth control of smartphone-stored music beyond track up/down, play/pause and fast-forward/rewind to include the selection of stored music by title, artist, album, and genre.
In addition, the Android app converts a phone’s text messages to voice.
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