There is no area of consumer electronics where innovation isn’t a feature, be it laptop PCs, desktop PCs, music and entertainment systems, tablets, smartphones or, now, even car stereo systems. For every piece of innovation there is a growing demand from the buying public, spawning greater research and more high-tech products. Apple’s iPhone and iPad are devices which, apart from being innovative themselves, have led to the creation of many other devices by manufacturers that diversify the user experience and make it richer.
Reports are emerging that Jackson Electronics is planning to develop an adapter to enable mounting an iPad on the iRoc car stereo, but details are yet to be released. This would be a perfect follow-up to the iPhone-mounted iRoc.
The Jackson Electronics-manufactured iRoc car stereo head unit using the iPhone launched in August 2011 is an example of the change that is sweeping in the car audio market. iRoc is basically an aftermarket device resembling your typical car stereo and fitting into the radio opening of your car. The device also has the provision of snapping your iPhone on it. The in-built amplifier of the iRoc enables all the apps you have on your iPhone to be played through your car’s speakers and you can control what’s being played by tapping on the touchscreen of your iPhone as it is connected to the device.
AT&T Wireless customers can experience more multi-tasking opportunities. Your GPS app can continue to run in the background as your iPhone plays your music. For adjusting volume you use large rotary knob on the iRoc. If you don’t have an iPhone the company suggests using a Nano for music.
You won’t find a radio, CD player or USB in iRoc car stereo, but it has a microphone that can help you speak and use your iPhone for communication even while it is snapped to the iRoc. It is also equipped with 6 line outs to connect speakers and subwoofers as well as a 40-watt amplifier. iRoc is offered in double Din and single Din formats, and it can also function with the controls of your steering wheel. The company also suggests downloading apps such as Vlingo to your iPhone so you can carry out voice-to-text emails through the iRoc.
Currently iRoc has been designed for use with all iPod and iPhone versions, while an Android-compatible iRoc is under development. Jackson has hired car stereo specialists to help install it in customers’ cars while it is in touch with various distributors.
iRoc car stereo isn’t the only iPhone clubbed car stereo device out there. There is also AppRadio from Pioneer and O’Car from Aamp of America that offer similar service. But the market is still fresh and manufacturers such as Jackson can look to grab the early attention of customers and a large chunk of the car stereo market.
There is no detail information available on the price in India of iRoc car stereo but is expected to come with a price tag amounting to around Rs. 20, 000.