Sony has announced the first ever smartphone cradle receiver, allowing multiple brands of smartphones to serve as in-dash touchscreens.
Sony's new XSP-N1BT is the world's first double-DIN Smartphone Cradle Receiver. It features a clamping system that holds a wide range of smartphones securely in the dash. Thus mounted, it becomes your in-car touchscreen for all things multimedia.
Via Sony's App Remote interface, the smartphone's touchscreen controls head-unit functions via Bluetooth (Android devices) or via USB (iPhone). App Remote also facilitates voice operation of both the head unit and the smartphone.
What's more, thanks to its IR remote, the XSP-N1BT also does CD, USB and tuner source functionality even without a smartphone. The IR remote can also be utilized to select apps and head unit sources displayed on the App Remote menu screen.
The smartphone cradle receiver provides a charging capability via a compact USB cable. Sony's own Xperia smartphones charge wirelessly courtesy of a magnetic connector.
Sony also showed off a full range of new in-car clobber.
Highlights include headunits with NFC tech for one-touch Bluetooth syncing, including the Sony MEX-N4000BT, and another with HDMI and an MHL (Mobile High-Definition Link) port to mirror the display of the iPhone 5, 5s, 5c with the Lightning Digital A/V Adaptor, and the iPhone 4 and 4s with the 30-pin Digital A/V Adaptor and other equipped smartphones, dubbed the Sony XAV-712HD.
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Technology and cars. Increasingly the twain shall meet. Which is handy, because Jeremy (Twitter) is addicted to both. Long-time tech journalist, former editor of iCar magazine and incumbent car guru for T3 magazine, Jeremy reckons in-car technology is about to go thermonuclear. No, not exploding cars. That would be silly. And dangerous. But rather an explosive period of unprecedented innovation. Enjoy the ride.