The first iPad solutions for the car were shown in the front seat, but the back seat could dominate early uses of the iPad and other tablets in the car.
Even Scosche, one of the first suppliers to propose an in-dash iPad mount, is now diverting much of its attention to adapting the iPad for the rear seat for kids and passenger entertainment. Some suppliers claim this is a safer use case for tablets when it comes to the automobile.
“Scosche is seriously focusing on the rear seat. We’ve been looking at all kinds of attachments. Our biggest concern is safety; the electronics are pretty straight forward. We’re working on chargers and being able to play movies…The front seat is now taking a back seat, no pun intended, to the rear seat. We’re being requested by our dealers to do something for the back seat,” said senior project manager new technology Jack DiBiasio.
Audiovox sees the tablet as an alternative to a screen mounted in a headrest. Rosen said it’s working on a rear seat tablet solution of some type and Myron & Davis is in the early stages of exploring a tablet rear seat solution.
“We absolutely see a tablet in our future. We’re looking at a tablet as an alternative solution for headrests,” said Audiovox Electronics president Tom Malone. He foresees a removable WiFi tablet that might have live TV capability. It could snap into custom or universal headrests. Such a system will be shown by Audiovox at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in January. “We’ve seen a number of different tablet configurations and we’re evaluating what the hardware looks like, screen size and content.
Scosche hopes to announce a tablet solution in November at the SEMA show and display the product by the January CES.
Rosen is planning to release its first tablet solution for the car by early 2011. It is examining headrests, overheads and other mounting systems. The aim is to harness two of the tablet’s key features–the ability to display stored moves and a 3G connection–to let you access Netflix and other streaming media in the car. “You can literally be driving down the highway and select a Netflix provided movie, to watch while you are traveling,” said Rosen VP sales and marketing Steve Weimar.
By integrating the tablet in the car, you get a safer solution and you permit multiple users to view the screen comfortably. You can also add high quality audio by linking to the car’s audio system, said Rosen.
Because the tablet is larger than an iPod or smartphone it poses more risk if it becomes a projectile object in a crash or accident, said suppliers.
ProClip is already selling a one-piece $99 headrest mount that comes with a tilt-swivel, which fits most vehicles.
Source: CEoutlook (exclusive)
Photo: ProClip iPad mount