iPad Mini makes its way into cars
It's already the must-have accessory for hipsters this Christmas, and an automotive firm in Florida has created a way of installing an iPad Mini into a car dashboard.
The specialist firm called 'Soundwaves of Tampa' managed to install an iPad Mini into the dashboard of a 2012 Toyota Corolla, and have constructed a special console for the tablet to slide inside.
What's more, the US-based company says it can fit the iPad Mini into most models, with prices starting from $800.
When installed drivers will be able to access all the typical functions of the tablet, including Facebook, audio and video streaming, web access and more. Soundwaves says the tablet fits into the DIN stereo slot of most modern vehicles, meaning everyone can have a slice of iPad magic on the move.
While not available in the UK at the moment, the mod could have wide-reaching implications for road safety, with social media app updates, music systems and other controls potentially distracting drivers' attention on the road.
The modification allows volume control to be hooked up the car's standard system to reduce this danger, according to the video, by replacing some of the tablet controls with more traditional in-car functions.
The bearded gent in the above video gives an impressive overview of Soundwaves' technical expertise, and how much fun it is having one of the world's newest shiniest gadgets staring back at you.
So much touch...
This isn't the first example of touchscreen technology in cars. The upcoming Vauxhall Adam and various Renault models come with interactive dashboards that work in a similar way to a tablet, allowing people to connect personal media to them to listen to their playlists and watch videos.
Vauxhall's technology, called IntelliLink, is being featured on the Adam in hope of attracting a younger motoring audience. Compatible with Apple iOS and Android, drivers can download apps to the car and can be accessed via the car's facia-mounted touchscreen.
Renault's R-Link is an integrated and internet connected touchscreen tablet that will feature on the new Clio, and will connect to the R-Link Store - the auto industry's first ever car-app-centric store.
However there a number of payoffs for cars that feature touchscreen technology. The first is safety - though people can upload picture slideshows and videos to the Adam's IntellinLink system, they can't be viewed on the integrated dashboard unless the car is stationary for obvious safety reasons.
Also, most models won't be able to download apps from Google Play and iTunes, again because of the distraction element. Instead people will initially be able to download apps developed especially for in-car use.
Stitcher, for example, is a global podcast app that gives drivers access to more than 10,000 podcasts on demand as well as radio stations. There'll be no chance of playing Angry Birds through your dashboard while doing 70mph on the motorway.
Which raises a whole host of safety questions for people that choose to have an iPad Mini installed into their dashboard through Soundwaves of Tampa.
Because people will be able to go home, download Minecraft, and play with it at high speeds. The distractions while driving could be potentially enormous - not just for the driver, but for other people on the road, too...
Written by John Meadowcroft