Upgraded Android 2Din Ca-Fi in-car infotainment to be launched end August 2012; Supported by capacitance screen and OBD2 protocol
In autumn 2011, Innotrends announced it was launching the world’s first Android platform 2Din in-car infotainment system, the Ca-Fi 620800 Universal. Since then, there have been similar products launched with varying degrees of success but most have followed similar specifications in terms of hardware and software. A few of the larger players in the automotive and car audio industries are also putting in their chips towards Android, albeit, not at the same pace as would have been expected.
The new Ca-Fi 621000 Universal will be a significant upgrade over existing products on the market. Currently Ca-Fi products on the market are running on Android 2.2 with an 800 MHz processor supported by 256MB of RAM. The Ca-Fi 621000 Universal runs on Android 2.3 and comes with a 1.0 GHz processor with 512 MB of RAM. Hands-on testing feels much faster than the hardware indicates and is a big improvement over what is available on the market.
That said, the main improvement to the current Ca-Fi and other products on the market is the switch from pressure resistive screen to a capacitance screen (same as most leading tablets on the market). This makes the usability improve significantly, as the use of a stylus is no longer needed, nor hard pressing, as is common with resistive screens.
Other improvements of note are an improved graphical user interface (GUI) that is more logical and easier to use and OBD2 connectivity.
In this sense, the Ca-Fi unit running on Android 2.3 is unique amongst all peers supported by Android on the market. With an OBD2-USB cable, the Ca-Fi 621000 can connect to the electronic control unit of most vehicles following the OBD2 standard protocol. For the layman, this means the new Ca-Fi unit can talk to your car’s computer (for most cars built after the year 2000). This OBD2 connectivity is what most modern mechanics use to read default engine codes, read engine data and check emissions. To make the best use of this OBD2 connectivity, there is a pre-installed fully licensed version of the Android App Torque that can provide OBD2 data for supported vehicles. Torque is the leading OBD2 Android App market app and this version was customized especially for this product.
Along with all these new goodies, the new Ca-Fi 621000 2Din will support the normal array of functionalities we expect in a high end car audio unit such as DVD/CD, GPS, hands free calling, music streaming, internet connectivity, rearview camera, steering wheel controls along other AV input/output expandability. Moreover, with simple kits available at most car audio dealers, the 2Din standard size universal unit will fit in most modern generation North American and European vehicles.
Pre-order will be announced prior to the end of the July with some limited availability for those that pre-order the new capacitance screen supported Ca-Fi 621000 Android infotainment unit. The product retails for 999 USD and first shipments will be delivered end of August.