Pioneer Electronics will release in the spring of 2016 a smart mirror system that clips onto the car’s existing rear view mirror.
It uses voice and touch control to serve up highly intelligent driver info, without the need to connect to a smartphone. (But if you do pair your phone with it, you get handsfree calling).
It will head for the Japanese market this summer, at a roughly estimated $500 to $700 equivalent, followed by the US. Users may pay a subscription fee of perhaps $5 a month in Japan to cover cellular charges, that might appear on their existing cellphone bill. There’s no final determination yet on a subscription fee in the US.
If you ask for nearby restaurants, the mirror finds them and if you ask for “reviews” you get Yelp ratings in an easy to use format using voice control and the touch screen.
If you ask for a nearby gas station it gives you one with a gas price. If you ask for one with a cheaper gas price it gives you the nearby options and the prices and how far away they are.
You also get verbal texts (receive and send). You can ask for the weather and news, as well.
The mirror overlay, called Drive Agent, was also shown at CES last year. It is expected to be sold through car audio stores.
Pioneer is pretty mum on the inner mechanics of the mirror except to say it uses a dual core processor running a version of Android. And it relies on Google Maps.