Update on Vehroot’s Unique Car Radio

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Vehroot, the startup that aims to produce a new kind of car audio head unit, said it is now taking “soft orders” from retailers and distributors for its “Shelf,” an in-dash active dock for a smartphone.

Vehroot said it has received several offers to fund a run of up to 5,000 of its “Shelf” car radios. The product not only holds the phone in place, but it provides wireless charging and Bluetooth HD for better-than-CD-quality audio (for phones that support it).  The Shelf allows your phone to become the screen and brains of the head unit.

The company is seeking non-binding order commitments that will help it in its planning and production, according to Shaun Trites, head of marketing & product development at Vehroot.

“Dealers and distributors will have a cool new product with enough money built-in for them to make money when they sell it,” he said. Interested parties may  sign up here.

What most drivers want is to get in their car and place their phone somewhere it can become their infotainment hub, he said, adding, “Everyone wants to use their phones for the audio. Nobody uses CDs.”

Trites claims that people “get it right away” when they put their own phone on the Shelf and see it start charging.

The company has already 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 hold 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.

A  support hot line and forums are established to provide tech support for dealers, distributors and end users.

For more information on Vehroot click here

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10 Comments

  1. Don’t even waste time on an AM/FM tuner, unless you can put the HD Radio chip in. I’m so tired of the backwards thinking manufacturers that say “Nobody listens to HD Radio”. Here in the Pacific Northwest, it is a feature I sell and promote with every radio install. Pioneer won’t let me by radios with HD Tuners anymore, Sony doesn’t meet out request, Kenwood has dropped the SKU mix down to 6 radios with HD tuners. As a bare minimum, and in-dash unit MUST have a Tuner in it, when all else fails, or there is no cellular/ WiFi reception. Don’t waste time on a cheap Chinese $2 tuner chip, when you can spend $8 and get a better HD Tuner chip. We are here to install and highlight new technologies, not band-aid old ones.

    Others are right, 3 sets of at least 4-volt preouts and a digital output would greatly help cover more installs, as wheel as steering wheel control inputs.

    1. Hi Bret, this is Tom with Vehroot. Sony had the XSP-N1BT that did use the phone for its screen, and we bought 6 of them. But Sony’s stereo was limited in the size of phone it could support, you couldn’t use a case on your phone, and it didn’t support tablets of any size. The Sony unit did not provide any type of charging for the phone and it didn’t provide buttons to manage mobile applications or instant dialogue with your phone’s AI. So I have to disagree with you that Sony made something similar. To date, no one has made anything similar to the Shelf.

      1. Im really excited to see this unit, how will it compair to the new pioneer SPH-10BT? This does have tablet support it just won’t fit on the phone mount itself. It does not offer wireless charging which was a huge let down. Do you guys plan on designing a single din?

  2. What it needs if missing is a digital output to external amplifiers, processors , its not enough incentive as signal strength will always be struggle for traveling drivers ,I can get a mountable wireless charger for fraction of price as the rest I have better options especially and depending on the specs of head unit ,pre-out voltage,# of channels, is it a basic analog output, or digital with optical, for me to upgrade to this I would want to at minimum have a backup screen in the event im phoneless, how about a display screen that interacts when phone is placed where it defers to it but when removed, YAHTZEE!!, you still have at least, I HOPE, a digital receiver with lets call it a P.I.I.D. Screen -PHONE INTUITIVEly INTERFACing DISPLAY, that defers control autonomously to the PHONE’S screen, B.I.N.G.O !,”SOMEBODY STOP ME!, SMOKING!” HELLO MCFLY
    remember that phrase PIID, then we are in the game .
    THEY WILL COME BUY ,IF U SUPPLY

    1. Hi Vic, this is Tom with Vehroot. This is exactly the type of feedback we are looking for! While we do not have a digital output in our current prototypes we’ve looked into it and it could be added before production. We do have capabilities to pickup backup camera signals and deliver to our mobile app, but we haven’t developed our mobile app yet (I use the analogy that we built the ipod before building itunes) but our mobile app will soon follow. For a detailed list of the Shelf specifications download this PDF: http://support.vehroot.com/download/file.php?id=52

  3. Hi Spivey. Downloading offline maps in Google maps and saving music locally will cover you in areas with no cell service. Pandora also stores music offline. Future versions of the Shelf may offer an AM/FM tuner that works through our mobile app, but this feature depends on market feedback. Is an AM/FM tuner something you would require?

    1. Hi Been. Yes, we’ve been running tablets as large as 10″ on our prototypes. I have a seven inch tablet (Samsung A6) that I’ve also used for a couple years.

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