By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Clarion will ship in October the earlier announced ClarionMiND, one of the first U.S. Mobile Internet Devices (MIDs).
MIDs are a new class of "Internet in your pocket" devices that offer PC-like Web access on the go (see www.TWICE.com for more information). Clarion's MID adds GPS and a car adapter for use in the car in addition to its portable use. It was first shown at International CES in January.
Clarion's unit connects to the Internet via Wi-Fi or by Bluetooth when paired with a mobile phone.
When docked in the car cradle, the device switches to a special user interface suited to driving; it locks out video and full Internet browsing but allows local Google searches for live point-of-interest information.. The car cradle can be linked to the car stereo system via an auxiliary input or hardwired through RCA inputs, so users can playback music stored on the device.
In portable mode the device, with a 4.8-inch screen, provides full Internet browsing and email and has optimized access to YouTube and MySpace. It has approximately two hours of battery life although Clarion will offer an extended battery option.
The ClarionMiND, also delivers digital music and video playback. It has a Google Maps/Earth Viewer, PDF viewer, file manager, RSS reader and it delivers weather updates.
Said Clarion marketing VP Adam Thomas, "We're just trying to drive excitement in the mobile electronics arena. Dealers want more traffic in the stores … an exciting product like this helps them get more traffic."
The ClarionMiND runs on Linux using an Intel Atom Z500 processor with 512MB of DRAM and 4GB of storage. It has a built-in GPS antenna and receiver, lithium-ion rechargeable battery, SD card slot and two USB ports.
Pricing has not yet been announced.
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