A Year Ago: Bluetooth car stereo? Watch Clarion...

First published: Tue, 11 May 1999 08:51:41 GMT

In car entertainment manufacturer Clarion has hinted it will include Bluetooth connectivity technology in future versions of its in car computer device called AutoPC.

The AutoPC is a Windows CE-based device that combines a computer with a car radio. It uses voice recognition technology to enable hands-free communication for the driver and enables mobile devices such as phones, PDAs, notebooks, pagers and so on to be docked.

Devices are then controlled through the AutoPC, which also offers a text to speech function, enabling the device to ‘talk' to the driver. Clarion has not yet tested the device using Bluetooth but Claud Sierocinski, development engineer at Clarion Europa in Germany said that the company is currently evaluating the technology and it is highly likely it will be included in future versions of the AutoPC.

According to Sierocinski, the AutoPC is set for rapid development and that will mean more devices being connected and a much more complicated wiring system. "At the moment the AutoPC requires some cabling in order to achieve the desired connectivity. However, we will need the appropriate technology that will allow us to achieve an increase in connectivity without the need for cables, therefore expanding communications capabilities for the AutoPC as well as other mobile devices. That's where Bluetooth comes in."

The AutoPC features include CD ROM/CD player, removable faceplate, 32MB Ram, 16MB Rom, Type II Compact Flash Slot, FM/AM/LW radio, 4x45 watt, 6ch pre-amp audio outputs, AUX input, infrared data port, USB port, serial port and a microphone input port.

Clarion is currently selling its AutoPC in the US for $1,300 (£793).

Take me to the Bluetooth special

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