Just when you thought that Android couldn't make any new in-roads into your life we have Asteroid, the Android car radio.
When you think about it even for a moment the idea is obvious and logical. Why bother with a car radio that has extras like a CD player when you can have a complete Android unit installed in its place.
The Asteroid is just that - and presumably the first of many - and all I can say is that I want one. It has a Bluetooth connection plus GPS and will play Internet radio and music from a range of sources including iPod and iPhone, make hands free phone calls and of course do navigation.
Not only are the days of the separate SatNav device numbered, but probably also those of SatNav as a built-in but separate unit. The Asteroid is also mostly voice activated and will sync to your phone via Bluetooth. You can pair up to ten phones.
As well as bringing together standard facilities into a single neat package, it also opens up the possibility of downloading and using apps. This in turn opens up the possibility of creating new automotive-targeted apps. The manufacturer has already demoed apps to help find parking, low cost petrol and speed cameras.
There's a 3.2 inch screen to show you what is going on. A GPS dongle is included and all you have to do is find a place to mount it for good reception. You can also plug in an optional 3G key which provides access to a range of paid-for services - but this part of the specification is not particularly clear.
Have a look at the (admittedly hard sell) promo video below:
The price hasn't been announced yet and the unit should be available in the second or third quarter of the year. There is also an OEM module that can be fitted behind the dashboard that also has WiFi connectivity.
Of course things aren't going to stop at the Asteroid - why not 3G built in as standard, other sensors such as temperature, parking etc. It could be that Android works its way into the role of automobile operating systems as well.
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