Android, looks set to give the Parrot Asteroid an edge over ordinary car stereos, including the ability to download Apps, Web-based music, advanced voice recognition, real-time traffic updates and some clever location-based services.
Users will be able to download a huge variety of Apps via the Android Market, such as Spotify, giving users access to an almost incomprehensibly large library of on-demand music anywhere they drive.
There’s also the possibility for apps that can show you nearby parking spaces, help you avoid traffic jams, locate speed cameras or listen to Internet radio stations. The possibilities, as anyone who owns an Android mobile phone, will tell you, are constrained only by the strength of your signal, which might suffer at 70mph but should be fairly good when you’re cruising through town.
The Asteroid comes with three USB ports, which can accommodate a USB 3G dongle as well as a GPS dongle. These work together to power the built-in Parrot Maps app… a cartography service that locates your vehicle and identifies nearby streets, businesses, shops and could even analyse the proximity of other Asteroid-using drivers.
Android’s voice-recognition features are good for driving too as users should theoretically only need to verbally search for tracks, artists or genres across all apps/peripherals connected to the stereo.
Parrot says the Asteroid will let you play music stored on a USB key, iPhone, iPod or SD card, or online radio stations. Music can also be sent to the system via mobile phones or MP3 players that support stereo Bluetooth (A2DP).
The Parrot Asteroid should be available in the UK in the first quarter of this year.