BLUE WONDER You couldn't swing a cellphone at CES in January without hitting a car stereo with Bluetooth capability. Being able to connect a mobile phone to a head unit wirelessly isn't just a convenience that commuters crave; in many states, hands-free phone operation behind the wheel is the law, not a choice.
At CES 2013, car audio companies and automakers showed that they’re ready to deliver data in almost any form to drivers — from on-demand news and restaurant reviews to location-sharing and even info to create the perfect date — by bringing connectivity and apps into the dashboard.
NAV AT IT Car stereos with hard-disk drives (HDD) made a splash a few years ago - then quickly sank into obsolescence beneath the rising tide of iPods. But the double-DIN Eclipse AVN5495 DVD receiver is buoyed by its split personality: Its 30-gigabyte HDD doubles as a navigation database in addition to functioning as a music server.
With the drive-in theater largely a thing of the past, could outdoor video be the wave of the future? Taking video outside isn't very practical unless you live in an area with a mild year-round climate.
Entertainment in the car has come a long way since the first "fitted" AM radios of 1930. And even back then, a few killjoys wanted to ban in-dash radios for fear of distracting the driver. Thankfully, logic and the love of music prevailed - and with each evolution in mobile entertainment over the past 50 years, drivers and passengers have benefited.