Oxygen Converging iPhone, Car Radio

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New York - Car audio supplier Oxygen Audio is taking convergence to the next level.

At International CES, the company plans to launch an AM/FM car radio that docks with an iPhone to turn the Apple device into the head unit's main control panel and main music source. The Apple device snaps into place on the front of the O'Car head unit for use in landscape or portrait orientation. The only control function on the head unit's front panel is a large knob. The targeted suggested retail is $299.

To control existing OEM and aftermarket head units from an iPhone, the company plans to introduce the O'Dock charging cradle at a targeted suggested $299.

The O'Car head unit incorporates only an AM/FM RDS tuner; uses the touchscreen of an iPhone 3G, 3G S or 4 to control head unit functions; and plays back iPhone-stored music as well as Internet radio apps through the car's speakers. The 4x55-watt amp also amplifies the sound of other applications, including the voice prompts of an iPhone's navigation app, and it delivers hands-free calling with a hands-free kit that uses the car's speakers to amplify incoming callers.

Other features include iPhone charging, 18 FM presets and six AM presets. It ships early in the first quarter.

 To perform as advertised, the docked iPhone must be equipped with an Oxygen app to allow data transfer between the iPhone and head unit.

To add O'Car functionality to other head units, the company will launch the O'Dock charging cradle at a targeted suggested $299. Using different adapters, the windshield- and dash-mountable cradle connects to the databus inputs of select OEM and aftermarket heads to enable touchscreen control of head-unit functions and reproduce the sound of iPhone apps through the car's speakers.

 The O'Dock also requires use of the Oxygen app.


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