I Want My Car TV!


hossweb mce carpcGates envisions tech-savvy car that won’t let itself crash: So we have an article about Microsoft and Auto Tech and still no mention of a Car Media Center PC? You guys are missing the boat!

The “My Car” Media Center PC would be one of the hottest and exciting things to come our way in a long time. I’ve three times now spent a ton of dough on a crappy Pioneer in dash GPS/DVD entertainment system in my car (they keep breaking the windows and stealing it).

“Gates said Microsoft has an entire product group working only on automotive technology.” Although there were some vague references in the article to HD screens, speech recognition and GPS, what I want to see is an actual MCE in a car.

Imagine this. Your in car media center wirelessly syncs (it’s an extender, remember) with your home Media Center PC and transfers all the movies down for the kids in the back seat. It also uses Orb or at minimum allows you to transfer your 5 star playlist on to it’s hard drive. The kids can play Xbox in the back seat or watch their favorite shows while you mom and dad can listen to your music or (are you ready for this?) your PODCASTS in the front seat… ohhhh, ahhhh, ohhhhh. DVD player of course. Satellite radio of course. You could also have a removable hard drive to move stuff back and forth between your MCE machine and your car Media Center.

The unit would communicate via Bluetooth with my AudioVox SMT 5600 smartphone to automatically turn my car MCE into a speaker phone.

Wait, there’s more. A GPS chip in the actual Media Center itself is used as both a GPS unit for directional control (including smart category searches: restaurants, ATMs, gas stations, etc.) of your vehicle as well as a tracking device for your vehicle should it (or the unit) be stolen. Microsoft would have one chip in the unit itself embedded in such a way that you would need to destroy the unit to get it out and one chip hidden elsewhere on the car. The pride of an MCE sticker on your window would scare thieves away even better than the club! Microsoft could partner with Network Car as a start with this technology. By the way, you could use this same technology to track your vehicles through MCE. It’s 2 am and your worried about where you son is? Just log on to Media Center, click on “My Car” and blip, there it is, parked outside of his girlfriend’s house.

The unit would use technology like One Voice’s to do various hands free actions. “Lock Doors.” “Open Garage.” “Start Car.” You get the idea.

This is the ultimate in car opportunity and would be a must have option for every high end luxury vehicle out there — not to mention a natural cross sell to the two million, and growing, affluent early adopting Media Center users out there already today.

A $4,000 pair of glasses to fix a car? Ok, maybe. But you guys are crazy not to build the ultimate in car Media Center. It’s a huge natural market and makes sense on so many different levels. Don’t let Pioneer get away with having the best (really crappy) car entertainment system on the market today. You guys could do so much better than them.

Come on Microsoft. Pimp my ride.

Related:
eHomeUpgrade – MCE CarPC – Oh Yeah, Baby!





Filed in: Industry Buzz


  • melvin

    Thomas,

    I share your enthusiasm completely, but I don’t think we are going to see MCE in cars (except a few rare after markets).

    Many luxary vehicles already have much of what you’re refering to and some even cooler things that you didn’t mentioned.

    Take the infiniti M45 for example. It has DVD audio and video including surround sound (, CD changer, tight integration with the car’s regular computer, DVD navigation, XM radio, rear camera, lane change warning, blue tooth connection to mobil phone, voice recognition on everything. One of my favorites is the keyless entry and ignition. You can start the car by push button as long as the key is close to the car, like in your pocket or purse.

    No, it doesn’t have a hard drive that syncs with your home, but that is easily resolved by connecting your mp3 directly into RCA aux inputs. Almost as good and much easier to manage to the average user.

    It doesn’t have alot of the other things that you mentioned, but there is no reason they won’t throw it in there if the market looks right.

    So why would the auto industry let microsoft into the game in any significant role? Would an MCE name brand sell more cars then say Bose? I don’t think so. Microsoft is known for long boot times and frequent crashes, not high quality…which is what you want in a luxary car.

    Have you also noticed that automakers have been putting better audio in cars in general, and using non standard layouts so that you can’t get a receiver aftermarket? They’d rather you spend a few hundred bucks on their upgrade packages then giving it to some aftermarket reseller.

    Another down side to MCE taking over the car is the popularity of the ipod and other mp3 players. I think we’ll see car recievers getting tighter integration with the ipod before we see hard drives and full PCs in cars with any significant numbers.

    Believe me, I really use to feel the same way you do, but after my in-laws got an M45 and seeing what it can do, I’m convinced that the automakers won’t need MCE to get this done.