I’ve always wanted to be able to have a philosophical discussion with my motor while barrelling down the A21. Please tell me my dream is about to be realised.
Well, almost. While discourse on the duality of man might be asking a little much, Dashbot is an AI adapter that’ll work with any model of car – there’s no need to have a fancy Android Auto or Apple CarPlay-compatible jalopy.
How does it work?
It’s essentially a smart microphone that links up with a smartphone app, and the latter comes with built-in support for a range of popular audio services like Spotify, Apple Music, Google Play Music and Soundcloud. So if you use any of these (and it’s an open API, so other services should follow), you can control music and podcasts without having to take your hands off the wheel.
You can also dictate texts to named contacts and bring up navigation via voice commands. And that’s not all: there’s also Amazon Alexa support built-in, letting you ask your car all sorts of questions - just like with the Echo speaker. We think Alexa’s the best AI assistant when it comes to recognising natural speech, so that’s a big win.
So it’s like a female version of K.I.T.T., except slightly less sardonic. How do I get one onto the dash of my 2007 Honda Civic?
Simply back the Kickstarter campaign (which has already smashed through its funding goals) to the tune of US$49 (S$70) or more and you’ll receive a Dashbot as a reward – albeit not until July 2017.
If your car lacks Bluetooth, you’ll have to shell out a little extra (US$65, S$95) for the Retro Pack, which also includes FM radio and cassette adapters (yes, some cars still use a tape deck).