Connected car infotainment outside of the box in a simple box with Bluetooth and iPad, iPhone or Android tablet?

SOCA_SimpleBoxParrot introduced the Soca Simple Box, Android-based infotainment for the automotive industry. Instead of requiring an expensive touchscreen the infotainment unit works with the driver’s smartphone or tablet. When the box works with an external device it makes it easier for the owner to upgrade the system faster by replacing the connected device.

They say they combine the devices with automotive middleware in a smart and seamless way.

The SOCA Simple Box allows the decoupling of Android and Parrot automotive software and offers telephony, voice recognition on music and contacts, messaging, Text to Speech, multi-sources media player USB / iPod / Bluetooth / Radio, Internet 3G/4G connectivity, acoustics and signal processing, multi-standard Radio / TV,

Parrot uses the external device as the display and control for the infotainment features of the SOCA Simple Box, running all the Parrot automotive libraries, radio vehicle information via CAN or Ethernet network, Vehicle Apps and Premium navigation from OEM market.

The Simple Box is an enclosed ECU which integrates all the components necessary to enable the vehicle with specifically selected infotainment features. It is a black box which incorporates audio amplifier interface, USB ports, TV/Radio Tuners, vehicle interface (CAN), Bluetooth, microphone and line in. The difference is that the simple box is a technology that takes these long term staple features and allows for access and control of content through a CE device.

The Simple Box provides way to enhance the in vehicle mounted CE device. Using Bluetooth, the device can quickly connect, access and control the infotainment features of the vehicle.

The automaker can deploy specific applications that grant access to native applications on the CE device, such as internet radio and navigation. Besides access to the vehicle bus allows for the device to control features, such as climate control and vehicle settings.

Parrot claims an external device, the architecture allows for a reduction in development phase, cost and timing. Year to year, the vehicle is now equipped with the latest consumer device. With the automotive middleware already equipped in the vehicle through the Simple Box, this provides for an economical way of rethinking how to equip and sustain an evolving IVI user experience.

Smart started using s similar system in which the smartphone connects to the dash as a screen.