Thank Clarion for transforming your dumb car into a brainy vehicle

The makers of in-car entertainment units chucks an Android into your automobile, allowing you to enjoy all the goodness you get from smartphones and tablets

Clarion's AX1 In Car Entertainment (ICE) unit is not going to turn your car into KITT and make you the new Knight Rider. But at least the Android-powered module will serenade you with tunes from its online music partner Infogo.

Old to New

The AX1 is not the company’s first foray into Android-powered ICE systems – last year they launched the system under the name ‘Clarion Mirage’, which was marketed exclusively through OEM partners. This time around, the AX1 can be purchased by end users directly, either through the internet or their favourite car accessory shop.

Thank Clarion for transforming your dumb car into a brainy vehicle - Old to New 2

The heart of the system is the new 6.5 inch capacitive touch-screen screen (it was a smaller screen with resistive touch technology previously). The system runs Android Gingerbread 2.3.7, which is remade specifically to work seamlessly within the automotive environment.

More after the break...

It is feature packed

AX1 will not leave you wanting for features. You can play 1080p videos (yes, no kidding!) and there's also GPS navigation, Internet radio and even Internet browsing on the go (as long as your car is stationary). This is on top of the usual music playback – through the local radio or through connected media. Talking about connected, you get Bluetooth to connect to your phone, and turn your ICE into your hands-free kit.

They did say that the AX1 will not have Google Play installed, but you can sideload apps as it runs Android without fancy skins. There is an “Infogo App Garage” where curated apps and system updates are pushed through over the air – like any Android system currently.

While the AX1 is a full automotive grade connected car stereo, you also get a microSD slot, and two USB ports to connect your devices. The USB ports supports both iPod connection and MTP connection from Android phones. A standard 3.5mm AUX jack is also available for devices that don’t support the other connections.

Price and Availability

Clarion also announced that the AX1 will be marketed to five countries in this region – Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia and India before coming to other selected markets around the world in future.

You can visit www.infogo.com to preorder the AX1 for an introductory price of RM 1599 / SGD 650. This offer is only for the first 3000 units sold from the website. After which, the price will revert back to its recommended price of RM 2400 / SGD 930. The AX1 will be delivered/on sale in the month of November.

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