World’s first Android powered OEM car stereo!

by: SamMarch 27, 2012

How do you like the idea of a car stereo that can play Angry Birds? Well thanks to Clarion and their new Mirage car stereo system, it’s something that may arrive in the mass-marketed vehicles very soon. The new stereo was shown off in Penang this afternoon, and the system’s claim to fame is that it’s the first Android-based automotive grade car stereo in the market.

When you have Android, you have apps! Imagine being able to upgrade your car stereo’s firmware just like you do with your phone. At the demo, Clarion showed one of these units running Facebook, Twitter, and Angry Birds. With this device aiming to be a car stereo, it’s important to note that it is an AVN style double-DIN player, accepting SD cards, USB devices, and will even connect to devices over Blueooth. Sadly it doesn’t have a CD slot, but are CD’s a thing of the past? I would like to see your views in the comments thread at the bottom of this page. The Clarion Research and Development team said that the lack of a CD slot makes the device more reliable and longer lasting, since there are no mechanical components to break down.

The Mirage is also iOS friendly, so you can plug in your iPod or iPhone just as easily as you can with an Android device. There are many additions that show Clarion is thinking of marketing too, such as a vehicle data display, rear-view camera, steering wheel buttons, and additional back-seat screens and a DVD player.

The GPS navigation engine is provided by Navigon AG, a part of Garmin. They’ve compiled maps of Malaysia, Thailand, and Singapore, so it’s likely that this stereo system will take off tremendously over there, since this is among the first device to have high-quality mapping of these areas.

The device boasts a 6.5-inch LCD hooked up to a touch screen graphical interface. A Samsung Galaxy Note user described the interface as “instantly familiar”. The software version is Android 2.2 Froyo, but don’t forget, although Froyo is now considered “outdated”, it is a great build that continues to serve people well! It’s also been customized for a car platform by Wind River, a wholly-owned division of Intel who provided modified software for the project.

Right now, Clarion is marketing the Mirage to car manufacturers and assemblers. The boss divulged that the company is talking with Proton, Perodua, GM Thailand, Nissan Thailand, and Nissan Malaysia. How long before they try marketing to the rest of the world, or before other companies come up with their own versions!

Would you like to have an Android-powered stereo system, or perhaps full on Android integration throughout the car?

  • Guest

    Add the ability to plug in a Sirius or XM tuner and an audio input and who needs anything else? Mapquest will give us GPS in the US. The only things missing on my phone now when I use it in the car are a larger display, audio input and satellite radio. I’d definitely buy one (or two).

  • Danjimaru

    … amazing

  • Cody

    wow screw my car stereo this blows it out of the water

  • balthuszar

    if this becomes mass produced, looks like cell phones arent going to be the only deadly distraction behind the wheel…

  • John

    This is really lame….

  • peter

    Yeah right… Stealing product keep copying stuff from blackberry and apple.

    • Sam Cater

      Could you be more specific please?

  • Warrenbzf

    They’re thinking inside the box. We should no longer have to do that. Have a in dash holder for smartphones. All it needs is a USB plug. Then just use a Bluetooth am/FM tuner, and whatever Bluetooth profile supports outputting music to external speakers.

    I loathe to buy a car whose stereo system requires future upgrades. Figures Clarion would think inside the box, since they wouldn’t want that to be reality. Truth is, they are irrelevant.

  • Jim_degoede

    I can’t help but think that just a touch screen would work the best. Your cellphones hardware does all the computing but input/output happens through a touchscreen in dash…

  • Anonymoose

    Uhhh, Parrot actually had an Android stereo A YEAR AGO already. It just wasn’t full-featured, double-DIN screen, etc.

    And really.. no CD because it ‘makes the device more reliable and longer lasting, since there are no mechanical components to break down.’? How many people have ever had a CD drive actually break down in their car, game console or PC? I know I did once, with a Pioneer head unit in 2002!

    • Brett

      Happens all the time. I have 3 xbox 360s with bad drives, the optical drive is always the first thing to go in a computer. With 64GB micro SD cards out there who needs discs?

    • I’ve had 4 car stereo CD units die, 2 Playstations, and a home DVD player go down. I won’t miss the CD slot!

  • First the house wares now the car, what would android cannot do!
    It revolutionized touchscreen gadgets all over the world and in the near future it may upgrade us to a new lifestyle.

  • dishwater63

    why why why has this taken so long to become a reality? put a tablet in a car with audio outputs. i mean, i thought this would be the first place android was going after phones. it’s beyond me that this is such a hard concept to become real.

  • Is this new? This was out a year ago, and has been on sale from various sources since January 2011. Saab, among others, is already working with Android for their own in-dash units. Nothing unique here except to note that this is 6 months behind everyone else.

  • Brett

    This is a no brainer. All they need to do is make a dash mount for an android tablet and connect it to an amp. I don’t know why they haven’t been doing this already. It could have apps for music, video, navigation, engine managment, climate control, etc, etc…

    • Joe

      they have

  • Why use Garmin’s navi engine? I’ve had Garmin and Tom Tom units but Google maps works wonderfully on my LG phone and that is the only one I use these days. Plus, it updates almost daily for FREE!!!