Torino, Italy – An engineering company that develops connected-car technologies for automakers has launched a device that plugs into the USB port of a vehicle or car audio system to play back cached music and podcasts synced via Wi-Fi.
The $99 Automatica from Inrete connects to a home’s Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g network, or to a Wi-Fi-tethered smartphone in the car, to download and store music and podcasts from Dropbox, Google Drive, Box, Microsoft SkyDrive and podcast channels via the company’s Automatica web site.
From the Automatica site, users choose the cloud services from which the USB device will download and store audio.
When it’s plugged into a car, the the USB 2.0 device is recognized as a USB mass-storage device. The 4GB device stores a cache of 24 hours of audio within its embedded flash memory, which is expandable through a microSD card slot. Content updates automatically when connected to the web.
The product, which is Inrete’s first retail product, measures 0.55 inches by 1.38 inches by 3.5 inches. It will be available mid-January at www.automaticaweb.com. The price includes two-year subscription to the Automatica service.