Android integrates with your rear-view mirror

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Android and car

Rydeen wants to put an Android in your car. Image: Commutr/Flickr/CC BY-SA

It seems the the automobile’s steady progression into the computer age is continuing unabated. Rydeen, a California-based company known for its on-board automotive navigation systems, has unveiled a new technology for Android integration into automobiles. The system is controlled by an interface on the rear-view mirror itself. Though the concept presents obvious safety concerns, it could appear in some vehicles by as early as next year.

Unveiled at CES

The system was granted first looks at the International CES — the world’s largest consumer technology trade show — that ran in Las Vegas between Jan. 10 and 13. Rydeen says it is very close to launching its double-DIN stereo head unit to run Android 2.2 in your car, along with all the apps you may care to download. The stereo head unit partners with a touch-screen, which at this time is built directly into the rear-view mirror.

A research tool, for now

The company says at this point it is only using the mirror touch-screen as a research tool and has no interest in sticking a reflective tablet computer onto the windshield of any car. However, it says a simplified version, more tailored to the needs of the driving experience, may appear in showroom models in 2013.

Can it ever be made safe?

Many question whether even a pared-down, simplified rear-view mirror interface could ever be a good idea, safety-wise. Zach Bowman of Autoblog said:

“We’re big fans of that plan, though we have to wonder about the viability of putting the touch-screen in the rear-view mirror to begin with. Here’s hoping Rydeen will turn to a traditional dash-mounted system in the future.”

About the company

Torrance, Calif.-based Rydeen already uses a touch-screen-enabled rear-view mirror interface as part of its car navigation systems. The company states on its website that is is dedicated to creating “unique products focused on driver safety, convenience and lifestyle enhancement.”


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