Friday, June 05, 2009

In car dash HTC Magic Google Android phone mount?

clipse AVN2210p CD receiver with detachable TomTom portable navigatorThere appear to be few accessories
HTC Magic Google Android phone, so far. This is to suggest a simple, low cost car dashboard mount. There are various holders for smart phones on car dashboard, but no one so far seems to have thought to build the mount into the dashboard. Like the Apple iPhone, the HTC Magic can be used in the landscape position. In this position, the screen is about the size and shape of a small entertainment/navigation screen in an upmarket car. Provide a low cost radio and amplifier with a socket for the phone to fit in the standard radio dashboard space and you could have a touch screen communications and entertainment system for under $US100 (not including the cost of the phone).

An example of this approach is the Eclipse AVN2210P: a dashboard media hub, with a removable TomTom navigation unit. This system got mixed reviews, some good and some bad. This is a large unit, so it will not fit some cars and it is designed to provide a CD and MP3 player, even without the TomTom installed and so is large and expensive. But a similar device, smaller and cheaper, could be made for a phone.

The HTC Magic is 113 x 55 x 13.65 mm ( slightly shorter and narrower, but deeper than the iPhone at 115×61×11.6 mm). This is 5mm taller than the standard slot in a car dashboard for a radio: 180 x 50 mm (the so called "DIN car radio size" DIN 75490 ISO 7736). The phone could be accommodated in a double DIN (180 x 100 mm panel) slot (as used by the Eclipse) or simply by having the phone protrude 5 mm outside the slot (the average car radio has a surround a few mm bigger). The unit could be made for a single DIN slot and be provided with spacers to fill a double DIN slot. The phone is 67 mm shorter than the DIN slot, leaving enough space for a volume control , digital display and some radio controls.

When the phone was not in place, the car would still have a working radio. With the phone plugged in there would be phone, MP3 and other functions provided via the touch screen. The car unit could be made at very low cost with simple analogue electronics, with all the sophisticated functions provided by the phone.

As the dashboard unit would only contain a minimum of electronics, it could be made about 5 mm deep and so could also be mounted on a flat surface or on a dashboard top mount, when a dashboard slot is not available. The unit could be made as a removable head, like some car radios. The same unit could then also be used as a desktop dock for the phone in the home or office, with some low cost speakers and a power supply attached.

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