San Antonio — The Progressive Retailers Organization was at the Westin La Cantera Hill Coun
This year's Specialty Automotive Equipment Market Association (SEMA) show kicks off here on Oct. 31 with a growing registry of high-profile car stereo exhibitors including, for the first time, Alpine and Panasonic.
Among the show's highlights will be Panasonic's first entry into navigation and a new car computer-A/V system from Vizualogic.
Panasonic will jump start its SEMA debut with the launch of a double DIN in-car navigation/mobile video DVD/monitor, the Strada CN-NVD905U. The company will also debut the new Strada sub-brand which will be the designation for all future Panasonic navigation and mobile video products.
The Strada CN-NVD905U has a built in 30GB hard drive, DVD player, 7-inch touch screen LCD and it offers Sirius real-time traffic capability. The unit is compatible with XM and Sirius tuning and has preloaded maps of the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico. It offers iPod video capability, MP3 and WMA playback and Bluetooth for hands-free cellphone communication and will ship this spring at a price to be announced.
From Vizualogic is a newly designed “media on demand” system for the car called VMOD. The system is a refinement of a video-on-demand system announced earlier this year.
The VMOD is a compact computer module with a 40GB hard drive that can be mounted anywhere in the vehicle. It acts as a car computer and a video, music and game delivery system.
About the size of standard head unit, the VMOD can plug into any monitor with RCA video connection.
It has a CompactFlash (CF) card slot, five USB ports and built-in 802.11g Wi-Fi. Users may shuttle movies, games, and music from a home PC to the car using a CF card. Or, they can connect wirelessly to a home PC and send e-mail and browse the Internet while sitting in the car, as well as transfer music, movies and games, by using Wi-Fi or an optional wireless broadband card. The VMOD is also expected to include GPS and offer turn-by-turn navigation and rerouting around traffic.
The product will be shown as a prototype at SEMA with shipping planned for next spring at a suggested retail price starting at $699.
Vizualogic says the VMOD runs Windows but the OS will be invisible to the user. An easy-to-use interface will be operated by a remote control with a track pad similar to that found on a laptop computer. To access video mode, users just write a “V” on the trackpad, said the company. The VMOD was developed in conjunction with Intel and StreetDeck software.