Ever wonder what it costs to invent, design and produce your own unique head unit. Ask Vehroot.
A startup led by several engineer/enthusiasts, Vehroot is looking to bring to market a deck that includes a shelf for your phone or tablet. It adds Bluetooth HD for better-than-CD-quality audio (for phones that support it) and wireless charging. Appropriately called the Shelf, it allows your phone to become the screen and brains of the head unit.
Afterall, what people want is to get in their car and place their phone somewhere it can become their infotainment hub, said Shaun Trites, head of marketing & product development at Vehroot, “Everyone wants to use their phones for the audio. Nobody uses CDs,” he added, claiming, that people “get it right away” when they put their own phone on the Shelf and see it start charging.
Vehroot has some prototype products, which were shown in a demo vehicle at KnowledgeFest in Indianapolis last month. But it’s now in talks with private investors to help bring its idea to consumers.
“We need a minimum of $50,000 to get everyone in motion and $500,000 to do a run of about 1,000 units,” said Trites. $180K has already been invested in the company.
He claims the Shelf was very well received by dealers at KnowledgeFest, which the company attended mainly seeking confirmation its product would meet with demand.
The main suggestion from dealers was that Vehroot add backup camera capability and an app for more in-depth adjustments.
Trites has been working on Vehroot, as a side business to his career in Information Technology for two years. He has three engineer partners including an industrial designer. One of his partners is part of the team that patented the self-darkening rear view mirror.
The company has won patents for the L shape design of the Shelf and for placing a wireless charger next to a Bluetooth module while overcoming interference between the two.
The Shelf includes grips that keep the phone or tablet in place plus fast wireless charging. Users can stream music over Bluetooth or Bluetooth HD to the car’s sound system and control the device through the factory steering wheel controls. It has RCA outputs for adding an amplifier and subwoofers and it comes with built in 50 watt by 4 power. Plus it is software-updatable.
The front buttons on the Shelf are capacitive touch buttons, including a button for activating Siri or Google voice control.
For more information visit www.vehroot.com