Nine of its 2011 models have an App Mode that lets you watch Netflix and many other video apps on your AV deck and listen to many audio apps. If the app permits it, you can watch video on the larger car radio screen provided you are in park with the emergency brake on.
Pioneer is also delivering audible Facebook and Twitter updates as you drive through Aha Radio in two new decks.
Then there’s a new GPS cradle that adds a speaker, Bluetooth, a gyro sensor and enhanced GPS reception to an iPhone running a GPS app. Pioneer’s first GPS kit also has a miniUSB slot and AV output. Called the SmartCradle, it is due for release this spring at $120.
How about Star Wars-like heads up holographic-type displays on your dash? Pioneer is demonstrating at CES, its ability to use an RGB laser to project a display of a navigation map on your windshield. The image takes on a holographic effect that seems to hover above your dash. The technology is shown as a prototype but it may come to market in the not so distant future. Pioneer noted that as radios in cars are replaced less frequently, it makes sense to focus on displays and technology elsewhere in the car.
As for Aha Mobile, it will be available this spring on the AVIC Z130BT and AVIC-X930BT (at $1,200 and $800 street prices). Users connect their iPhones with the free Aha Mobile app to the decks and they get audible information on traffic, access to over 100 podcasts and Facebook and Twitter updates and Yelp information.
Pandora radio control over an iPhone is now offered on 9 new Pioneer head units starting at $150 on the DEH-6300UB.
Also new are 6 ¾ inch speakers that fit in 6 ½ holes for 20 percent more cone area.
Pioneer is also now licensing its PAIS network API to other companies. It aggregates content from Slacker, Facebook, Yelp, Accuweather, Twitter and other apps so that it’s easy for the user to quickly get content from the sites, as required in a car environment.