Head Unit Startup Seeks Investors

share on:
Vehroot-Shelf

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

share on:

14 Comments

  1. Bah! HI Rick, I’m Tom and Vehroot, and we need to talk because you’re missing something here. No company has ever made a vehicle head unit capable of securely storing any brand mobile device. No other vehicle head unit provides wireless charging in the dashboard. No other head unit has ever enabled full functionality of mobile devices. No other has enabled the use of Siri, Cortonna, Google, and Alexa as AI assistant. And I’m just getting started here . . . There’s nothing on the market, nor has there ever been, like the Shelf. Tom – Vehroot

  2. Most new cars have blue tooth, so all you need is a magnet for your smart phone and it does the same thing..I don’t see how this would sell very well, good luck though I could be dead wrong!

    1. Hi Al, this is Tom with Vehroot. Thanks for the good luck! You’ll have to trust me on this, the Shelf works MUCH better than a magnet for storing your phone! No cables, no clamps, no fiddling with the radio behind your phone, an no having to find your phone after hitting a bump in the road or taking a sharp turn. Also, as a whole, the Shelf provides device usability that the magnet doesn’t.

  3. So, all I can say is if this makes it to market, it will be short lived. With the release of vehicles next year (and some this year) with wireless charging, wireless car play, wireless android auto, and everything controlled via “Hey Siri”, and “Ok Google”. Add in the 7-12 inch touch screens, and why would you even want to use this product?

    1. Hi Tim. Give me an example of a car (12″ screen or not) that doesn’t have crap tech after a few years! We (Vehroot) can run Siri, Cortona, Google or Alexa, and even combinations of them with multiple passengers and multiple devices connected simultaneously. Additionally, the Shelf is capable of translating any vehicle protocol (CAN, IBUS, Digital, etc.) into a common protocol mobile devices understand. The Shelf will soon (as our software develops) be able to pass climate controls and other vehicle functions onto your mobile device. Just think of the app development possibilities when mobile devices are able to communicate directly with the vehicle, old and new. We at Vehroot can think of some possibilities 😉 Point is, Vehroot and the Shelf will not be short lived; at least we’re working hard over here to ensure it doesn’t! Tom – Vehroot

    2. i Tim. Give me an example of a car (12″ screen or not) that doesn’t have crap tech after a few years! We (Vehroot) can run Siri, Cortona, Google or Alexa, and even combinations of them with multiple passengers and multiple devices connected simultaneously. Additionally, the Shelf is capable of translating any vehicle protocol (CAN, IBUS, Digital, etc.) into a common protocol mobile devices understand. The Shelf will soon (as our software develops) be able to pass climate controls and other vehicle functions onto your mobile device. Just think of the app development possibilities when mobile devices are able to communicate directly with the vehicle, old and new. We at Vehroot can think of some possibilities 😉 Point is, Vehroot and the Shelf will not be short lived; at least we’re working hard over here to ensure it doesn’t! Tom – Vehroot

  4. I can name half a dozen aftermarket radio companies that need this solution in their line up. LINK UP GUYS! Hope this makes it to market!

    1. Thanks RanDome! Vehroot is working alongside expert consultants in electronics,
      materials, software, manufacturing, supply chain, finance, legal, and marketing to form a
      product and a company that are ready to scale. We’re almost there!

  5. Add a magnet to the middle of it, so you can magnetize the phone to the unit, like you would with a Scosche magic mount. This seems like it would work better than “grips” that hold the phone. Just my two cents.

    1. Hi Mathew. Magnets are a common suggestion. It’s hard to trust and understand the rubber gripping materials we use without seeing and trying them. We use materials that you will not see on any other product that will securely hold any brand phone or tablet, and with any case. Our solution is most versatile and actually works as good as magnets. The main trouble with magnets is that they block wireless charging. Thanks for the suggestion! Tom – Vehroot

  6. One of the established companies should step up and support this company.

    There’s a severe lack of up and coming companies that are willing to move into the 12v space and that’s a problem.

    1. Not very likely, this has been done. Yes this has some updated feature but in the end is the same. Pioneer had one I believe and Sony had one years ago. They both suck and do and didn’t sell.

      I love seeing people trying to come into the industry, I just hate that they couldn’t bring something that hadn’t been done.

Comments are closed.