Maybe it’s the gadget freak in me coming out, but this looks awesome. They’re available on the Internet through eBay, and Alibaba to name just a couple of sites. They are expensive though: the model above is the entry level version, and it’s around €360! Ouch!
While I think the Suzuki Swift’s factory CD player looks pretty good and suits the dash well, having a real TV screen would be really cool. I love the idea of being able to watch my favourite pre-recorded TV shows or DVDs while waiting for my wife, or warming up the car on a cold morning/after work. It also can pick up regular broadcasting too, so you can listen to inane breakfast shows on the way to work.
Having a GPS navigator built into the dash would also be a perk, instead of having an awful bunch of cables sitting on the dashboard with a wobbly GPS leaving suction-cup marks on the windscreen.
Then there’s the added benefit of being able to install a reversing camera – or (my favourite idea) a Raspberry Pi computer.
Pretty cool huh? It’s the size of a credit card, does pretty much everything a full-sized computer can do, and it costs less than €45. Also, because it uses only around 2 Watts, it can be left on day and night in the car without draining the battery.
Additionally, it has a composite output socket (the yellow thing in the above picture) which means you can connect it directly to that Suzuki Swift TV display which it has a composite input. Then, I can easily install a USB wifi dongle into the Raspberry Pi, pair it to my mobile phone, and surf the internet/check email/update this blog from the comfort of the driver’s seat!
I’m getting a Raspberry Pi for Christmas from my lovely wife, and in anticipation I have purchased a plastic case for it, and I’ve also bought one of these which I can keep in the glovebox:
The Raspberry Pi has a lean version of the popular operating system called Linux (similar to Apple OS, but free-er) and it can operate all the usual things you might use on a daily basis.
This smart little computer can also be programmed to turn things on and off using the outputs on its circuit board. For example, I’ve seen one guy program it to respond to voice commands which control a robotic arm.
That gives me even more ideas. I could start the day by saying “Suzuki: Start Engine,” if I can learn how to program it. Alternatively I could learn how to control things on the car via a WiFi dongle attached to the Raspberry Pi. This means I could turn on the car’s headlights via my phone, all from the comfort of the house. I could even start the car from inside.
Alternatively, the car could use its WiFi to tell my phone when the car’s battery gets below a certain voltage in winter, or maybe when someone opens the door. There are so many possibilities.
So as you can imagine I’m looking forward to Christmas.