Clarion Ltd displayed a prototype of its next-generation automotive terminal "MiND" (development codename) connected by Wireless LAN at the International CES 2008. The company aims for a constant Internet connection during high speed driving by utilizing WiMAX.
The commercialization is expected in or around September 2008, according to the company. The price will be less than US$700.
WiMAX platform "Menlow," promoted by Intel of the US, is planned to be adopted in MiND, while Linux will be employed as the OS. The constant internet connection of the prototype, however, was made possible by WiFi, not WiMAX.
The main body is equipped with a 5.2-inch WVGA LCD display and a 4Gbit flash memory. The operating frequency of the processor is 1.1GHz, and the OS is Linux2.6.22. The main body will be installed on a docking station built on the dashboard of a vehicle.
MiND includes not only a navigation function but also internet browser Firefox. It is also equipped with "MySpace Auto," which provides a special function for the optimum use of social network service "MySpace" in the vehicle. It also has icons for direct connection to "Google Earth/Map" and "YouTube."
In addition, it has various functions including players of music and videos, viewers of images and PDF, an RSS reader and an e-mail function.
For the areas where WiMAX infrastructure is undeveloped, Clarion is considering the possibility of using a 3G communication module. The hardware will be supplied by a Taiwanese manufacturer. Functions and UI will be customized for use in vehicles, according to Clarion.