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Transportation Apple Entertainment

The iPad As In-Car Entertainment System Killer 415

theodp writes "'s David Thomas speculates that the iPad could prove to be a serious problem for automakers that charge a ransom for rear entertainment systems. The base iPad, Thomas notes, costs far less than most DVD options offered by automakers. Ford charges $1,995 for a dual-headrest-mounted DVD system in its Flex crossover. In the Acura MDX, its single-screen system, with three wireless headsets and a 9-inch screen, costs $1,900. At $500 a pop, giving two kids their own iPads would cost far less than what the automakers charge for an ICE system. The article mentions some of the advantages of ICE, including being weather-tested to work from -5 to 160 degrees F (-20 to 71 C), and being far less prone to breakage."
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The iPad As In-Car Entertainment System Killer

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  • hmm (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mapkinase ( 958129 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @08:14AM (#31920996) Homepage Journal

    I thought mounted entertainment systems were killed by portable $100 DVD players already...

    • And, guess what? (Score:2, Insightful)

      by msauve ( 701917 )
      Unlike the iPad, they too can play DVDs!
      • by rolfwind ( 528248 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @09:28AM (#31921896)

        I would prefer the iPad, because I personally hate a bunch of shit in the car, including a mound of DVDs. They just clutter up the whole car, and usually become unplayable either through sticky fingers or scratches from going all around uncased, and what not. Not to mention that in an accident, shit flying all around can cause problems. Heck, it can cause an accident just from sliding around and somehow ending between your feet and the brake.

        In fact, unless it's a real car trip, I hate the thought of bringing up kids conditioned not to be away from a screen for a minute, being fed it nonstop. Not too long ago, once you got out of the house, you got to escape the TV at least.

        At least a portable gaming system is interactive. The iPad wouldn't be too bad either, with movie downloads and whatnot, especially netflix. But I won't be buying downloaded movies from apple or anyone else until the sell DRM-less versions just like the music now. They might as well, people just convert and upload the DVDs/Blu-Ray without problems as it is.

        But I do wish a simple book would be adequate these days. And I'm saying this as a frequent flyer who appreciate the personal entertainment systems in the seats these days, and their role in shutting the brats up.

        • Re:And, guess what? (Score:5, Informative)

          by netsharc ( 195805 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @09:39AM (#31922038)

          There's a cool app on the App Store called "Air Video", it requires a server app on your normal PC (Windows/Mac), and a client App on the phone, the server reads your videos from its disk, converts it on the fly to an iPhone-compatible format, and streams it over WiFi (or 3G if your 3G is good enough) to the phone.

          I suppose for the ultimate in-car entertainment hackery, one could store an SSD-disked PC in the trunk, with WiFi that can connect to the "MyGarage" SSID, as well as offering in-car WiFi (or would that have to go the other way around, the home PC/server connecting to the "MyCar" SSID?), and with a network drive so you can just drag&drop stuff from your home PC "into" your "car". Maybe cron-job too for TV episodes. Add Wake-on-Bluetooth too so you can just click a button to turn on the in-car PC from the comfort of your own desk.

          Would surely save a lot of time compared to doing an offline conversion/USB sync...

        • Re:And, guess what? (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @09:44AM (#31922094) Homepage

          Buddy of mine ripped the DVD player out of his and left the screen. he built a XBMC to feed the screen and headphones and carries 250 gigs of movies and TV shows in the car with no cluttler at all.

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by lowrydr310 ( 830514 )
            XBMC is one awesome approach that provides movies and gaming. I too have a friend who did this.

            Another friend of mine had an interesting setup with a custom touchscreen in the center of the dash and two more in the headrests for the rear passengers that were connected to a microATX PC in the trunk. provides a ton of resources for the project. In this friend's case, he had a media center, GPS receiver with navigation software, an OBDII diagnostics utility, and a few other neat utilities. It was
        • by Richy_T ( 111409 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @10:54AM (#31923218) Homepage

          Heck, it can cause an accident just from sliding around and somehow ending between your feet and the brake.

          Is that you, Toyota?

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by poetmatt ( 793785 )

      they were. some people are stupid enough to buy the dvd systems in the car. I used to sell cars and seeing someone buy one of these meant a: they were stupid and b: you were making a major profit.

      ps: the $2000 ish units? They cost around $300 including installation.

      • Plus good luck fixing it. At least a non-integrated unit can be easily replace (at least much more cheaply) and is also upgradeable.... for instance, what if you start buying Blu-ray, what good is that DVD player in the car.

        These days, what often brakes in cars are the electronics, of course some manufacturers are better than others although some are surprisingly bad (Mercedes) -- and when you have to fix problems out of warranty, it can be as expensive as any mechanical problem.

        I restrict my electronic ca

    • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

      by Eraesr ( 1629799 )
      Most people would probably not know how to rip their latest Disney DVD's to a format the iPad can play.
      People buy DVD systems because it's as easy as just popping the disc in there and pushing the play button.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by mysidia ( 191772 )

        It doesn't matter, as sometime in the future they will probably be able to re-buy their Disney DVDs for the iPad.

        Subject to DRM, preventing them from taking the content anywhere other than their iPad (without buying again), of course.

    • I thought mounted entertainment systems were killed by portable $100 DVD players already...

      The portable unit one we got cost about euro120, but it has dual displays which attach to the headrests and provide independent volume controls. It can play almost anything, including DivX movies and MP3 music as well as regular DVDs and CDs. The headphones are not wireless, but I don't see that as justifying an additional euro1500+ for the automaker's system.

    • by jedidiah ( 1196 )

      ...or other video players with big hard drives.

      If you can't shove in an extra disk, 16G probably isn't going to cut it here. 64G might.

      Apple really hasn't changed the landscape here.

  • Sick and tired (Score:2, Insightful)

    by vikingpower ( 768921 )
    Really. I am sick and tired of seeing posts on /. on the Ipad. It's a waste of our time. Wasn't /. supposed to be "news for nerds, stuff that matters"? Ipads are not news for nerds, nor are they stuff that matters. Yuck.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Ipads are news for the USA's middle class conspicuous consumers. You know, being "cool".

      It is not hard to go to a country that is not the USA and see editorial pieces in mainstream papers openly mocking people in their own country who buy Apple products. (I am in New Zealand, and the NZ Herald had a cartoon about this recently.)

    • Re:Sick and tired (Score:5, Informative)

      by jo_ham ( 604554 ) <> on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @08:33AM (#31921196)

      Well, the stories that appear on slashdot are submitted by slashdot readers, so clearly some people are interested.

      They're obviously news for someone. Might I suggest submitting stories that *are* news for nerds if you think the iPad is not worth it to you.

      Or just turn off the "Apple" section in your preferences, which is much more effective than moaning about it on the actual story, as many people seem to do.

    • Death and Taxes (Score:4, Insightful)

      by whisper_jeff ( 680366 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @08:55AM (#31921406)
      Quit bitching or go somewhere else. Lots of Apple fans read _and contribute to_ Slashdot. There are a variety of subjects I don't care about but I know numerous Slashdot readers are passionate about them so I know I'll continue to see those subjects in submissions. I just skip them. The content I want to read is interesting enough that I can just skip over the content I'm "sick and tired" of seeing. So, seriously, you have a choice - quit bitching about it or go read your geek news somewhere else. It isn't going to change so you might as well complain about death and taxes while you're at it.
    • Can anyone tell me how to hide Apple-section stories from the front page?

      On my preferences [] I can hide them from the classic index, but not the dynamic one.

  • Can someone explain the appeal of these "in car entertainment" systems? Seriously, this sounds like another way to not pay attention to your kids, even while you are within 2 feet of them.
    • by wiredog ( 43288 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @08:21AM (#31921064) Journal

      No, you get it. That's the purpose.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Parlett316 ( 112473 )

      Dick waving contest. I always love driving behind a car that has two tvs in the headrests that are on and no one in the backseat.

    • by alen ( 225700 )

      it takes a few minutes for kids to get sick of their parents and start screaming for entertainment

      • by xgr3gx ( 1068984 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @08:59AM (#31921454) Homepage Journal

        What we need to do is stop bombarding kids with constant streams of electronic entertainment.
        If a kid always has a screen with moving pictures (be it a dvd player, game or whatever) in front of his face, how do you expect them to sit still when you take it away. It like digital crack.
        Yes, kids can be a pain - but part of being a parent is dealing with those situations by interacting with them in a positive way.
        I'm not saying no TV ever, but people wonder why kids have attention deficit disorder. I'm sure most of those kids can hold their attention perfectly fine when it's focused on a TV. How is a teacher supposed to teach a class when most of the kids are used to constant electronic entertainment?

    • by $RANDOMLUSER ( 804576 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @08:23AM (#31921090)
      Damn right!

      Kids these days with their "in car entertainment" and their "iPods" and whatnot; when I was their age all we had to do in the back of the station wagon was fight with our brothers and sisters and make faces at the cars behind us! And we were damn glad to do it!

      Now get off my lawn!
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by sharkey ( 16670 )
        You're forgetting the semis! Anyone who could make an unsuspecting dad shit his pants by getting a trucker to blow their horn at the right moment was the clear winner.
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by Lumpy ( 12016 )

          what was fun was mooning and flipping people off from the back seat in the station wagon. Dad cant see what you are doing and he wonder why everyone passing is honking at him and flipping him off.

          P.S. doing it to a cop will get you in trouble.

      • by Psmylie ( 169236 ) * on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @09:26AM (#31921870) Homepage

        No kidding! We made our own entertainment as kids. We played games, and not just the tame ones like "I spy" and the like. We made our OWN games, thus increasing our creativity! We played games like, "What's that smell?" and "Does this hurt?" and "Let's make the veins pop out on the driver's forehead"! And, of course, the ever popular "I'm not touching you!" while waggling a finger mere millimeters away from your siblings body after being instructed not to touch them. This last game was a real challenge, as a pothole or sudden change of direction could jostle you just enough to come into contact with your sibling, and therefore breaking the "rules" and getting you into trouble.

        Ah, good times. Good times.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by istartedi ( 132515 )

        Yeah, do kids even play the "license plate game" anymore? They'll never know the reward of hours in the car, and then the majesty of the Delaware Memorial Bridge looming up on the horizon. "Daddy, is that the golden gate?" "No. This is Delaware". I bet they just look up from their gadget and go "hmph" if the 'rents point out the landmarks. Are these kids going to be so overstimulated that the only thing to turn them on will be something truly dangerous?

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Just Some Guy ( 3352 )

        Kids these days with their "in car entertainment" and their "iPods" and whatnot; when I was their age all we had to do in the back of the station wagon was fight with our brothers and sisters and make faces at the cars behind us!

        Being serious now, I do feel bad for today's kids. When I was growing up, you could sleep across the back seat or climb up front to hang out with the parents. On quiet stretches of the interstate, Dad would let me sit on his lap and steer while he worked the pedals. Sure, it was unsafe as hell, but it beat being continuously strapped down as is mandated now. I can't blame the kids for wanting their DSes and iPods because they're stuck in their seats for 8 hours at a time.

    • by selven ( 1556643 )

      Have you ever tried to survive a 10 hour car ride as a kid? Unless you have entertainment (and no, talking to your parents doesn't count for more than 15 minutes), you will get extremely bored before you're even halfway through.

      • Actually, I survived many such trips as an only child in a one parent home, and the only electronic entertainment was music. It was not that bad, I did not get bored speaking to my mom and looking at the various oddities in the rural regions between New York City and Toronto.

        It was not just my own mother; I have seen plenty of parents who are able to keep their children engaged, even on very long trips.
        • by jo_ham ( 604554 )

          So the kids listen to the iPod built into it, or the built in audio part of the car entertainment system. Or read a book.

          I think it's a huge (and totally disingenuous) leap to go from "has ICE" to "does not pay attention or know how to engage their kids". It is just one of several options available to parents, or even as a perk for adult passengers on a long road trip.

          Just because they have a system like this does not make them bad parents, which seems to be the inference here.

          • Well keep in mind that the "music" I was referring was a radio, which actually led to a lot of fun in the rural areas (at least for city folk like us).

            In any case, it really depends on how people use these systems. Someone mentioned that his wife sits in the back seat with the kids watching a movie -- not such a bad use case. On the other hand, people seem to be talking about giving each kid an iPad, which sounds like "leave them alone with their electronic toys."
            • by jo_ham ( 604554 ) <> on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @09:02AM (#31921500)

              As any parent with a kid will (or should!) tell you, giving them access to things like that is all part of a managed activity schedule, much like access to TV or the computer. You can set aside times when your children can use these things, and for how long, and various other rules. In car entertainment is just another medium where this occurs.

              in the same way that multiple TV sets in homes added more flexibility for families where someone wants to watch channel A while others watch channel B, the in car systems mean not everyone has to listen to the radio, which can be a total blessing if your kids really want to listen to the high school musical soundtrack *again*, or the Bob the Builder greatest hits.

              Like anything involving parenting though, not everyone makes good parents, but allowing kids access to things like this doesn't automatically put people into that category.

        • I can't dedicate much attention span to anything else while I drive. As such, keeping a child entertained during even a couple of hours drive is very difficult for me. My solution? Drive at night, when the kid sleeps

      • I'm pretty sure most people on here were children at some point and probably are quite familiar with the situation you are describing. If our parents survived without in-car entertainment systems surely modern day parents can as well?
        • by hal2814 ( 725639 )

          I don't know any parents who didn't have some form of in-car entertainment system. That system only recently includes video as an option, but there was certainly a system of some sort. In my childhood, our in-car entertainment system generally included action figures, activity books, reading books, and music. My kids have DVD players, activity books, and toys as their in-car entertainment system.

      • Have you ever tried to survive a 10 hour car ride as a kid? Unless you have entertainment (and no, talking to your parents doesn't count for more than 15 minutes), you will get extremely bored before you're even halfway through.

        Once upon a time, many years ago when I was a kid, we used to use books for our in-car entertainment. Worked quite well, really.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by mungtor ( 306258 )

      They're awesome ways to keep kids entertained when you're on an 8-hour road trip to take them to visit family and stuff. It's not a matter of "not paying attention" to them since they only come out in preparation for a long trip (at least in our case). They're not necessary, but it makes a trip much more enjoyable for everybody and significantly cheaper than flying. Often it's my wife and the kids in the back watching a movie together, talking, and basically hanging out while I'm driving.

    • Didn't you see Homer's concept car? Nobody wants to deal with their kids!
    • by ProppaT ( 557551 )

      I agree. I think portable DVD players, gameboys (I know they're DS/DSi/DSiXXXL and PSPs now, but still), etc. have their place on long car trips...but it is a shame how many parents pop in the DVD for their kid when they're just running to the store for milk, etc. These are the times to engage your child. Long trips are the times when you pop in the movie or whatever to keep them from getting into fights.

    • by jocknerd ( 29758 )

      You don't have kids, do you? We bought our kids portable DVD players for our trip to Florida a couple of years ago. Well worth the money. This year, we'll be bringing the iPad along for the ride. Wife and I need some entertainment for the road too.

    • by Dan East ( 318230 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @09:05AM (#31921532) Journal

      Sure. I have a just-turned-2 year old. Legally he cannot be placed in the front seat (even with a proper carrier), so his car seat is in the row of seats behind me, where I cannot even physically touch him. I cannot read to him, or play with him, or do anything but say words out of my mouth. Last week we made a 14 hour round trip (and Mom couldn't go), and I was very, very thankful that he enjoys watching Curious George and Elmo on the integrated entertainment system, because otherwise he would have been miserable - bored out of his mind, screaming his head off, and stressing me out and taking my concentration away from driving.

      We stopped and grabbed a couple DVDs out of a RedBox for a buck a piece, and returned them the next day at our local RedBox when we got home.

      We even have a TV and DVD player at our house too. More than one, believe it or not.

    • by Andy Dodd ( 701 )

      When you're behind the wheel, there are only two things you should be paying attention to:
      The road and whatever may be present on that road outside of your vehicle.

      Kids who are not entertained get noisy. Noisy kids distract you from the road. Distraction from the road can get you and your child killed.

    • Sometimes you need an alternative to the fistfight that breaks out in your backseat when you pass the Shoney's informally hosting the local VW Beetle owners club.

  • by Assmasher ( 456699 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @08:16AM (#31921024) Journal steal the factory installed DVD system than they are to grab the two iPads in your back seat.

    • steal the factory installed DVD system than they are to grab the two iPads in your back seat.

      Maybe one day Apple will develop an iPad which is portable so that it can be removed from the vehicle? One can only hope!

      • by sorak ( 246725 ) steal the factory installed DVD system than they are to grab the two iPads in your back seat.

        Maybe one day Apple will develop an iPad which is portable so that it can be removed from the vehicle? One can only hope!

        The great thing about that is that portability is tied into the unit. It cannot be moved from an iPad, to a home PC, for example. It is the ultimate DRM!

    • I was going to say the same thing. ICE systems are less nickable and harder to resell than the iPad. Also it's harder to accidentally leave it in a hotel room or forget to bring it with you. Not that I'd pay for an ICE system anyway. A cheap portable DVD seems like a better bet.
  • by TomHandy ( 578620 ) <> on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @08:16AM (#31921026)
    Automakers still seem to charge ridiculous amounts for integrated navigation systems - the fact that you can pick up a GPS unit for under $100 doesn't seem to prevent them from charging $500-2000 for nav systems. Somehow I doubt they'll change anything here either. I figure that the thinking is they can charge a huge premium for the benefit of having a system integrated vs. just a separate device.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by alen ( 225700 )

      less than $100 for the TomTom and Navigon apps in the app store. New Android phones ship with the same capability built in. some people would rather pay the higher car payment than get a smartphone and pay the $30 a month data charge.

    • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @08:27AM (#31921126) Journal
      The worst thing about the integrated sat-navs is that they are often worse in every way(except the awkward cigarette-lighter-for-power and suction cup mount aspect) than even substantially cheaper discrete units.

      Standalone GPS units live in a brutal darwinian hell-world, where only the strong or the super-cheap survive. Integrated units live sheltered lives; bundled with much more expensive objects. The difference shows.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by TomHandy ( 578620 )
        Yeah, that's always seemed like the craziest thing to me. Whenever I've been driving with someone with a luxury car and some expensive $2000 nav system built in, I've been kind of blown away that the system seems like something from 10 years ago, incredibly inferior to even the base model Garmin or TomTom units you can get for under $100. It really does seem like the only thing they have going for them is being integrated into the dash rather than a unit you have to put above your dash, but still...
    • That would be great to have just a "Interaction Unit" (screen + joystick/ok/cancel + antenna) that can be plugged in GPS boxes from multiple vendors so you can pay for the integration while keeping your freedom to upgrade for the GPS unit of your choice.

  • duh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by alen ( 225700 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @08:17AM (#31921028)

    i figured that out when the iPad was first announced. $2000 for a glorified $300 DVD system vs $500 for a dumbed down computer that can play movies and games and you don't need to take shiny discs with you that scratch easily

    and you can use the ipad outside the car as well. and if you're an IT geek with kids, the App Store has tons of IT management apps to give you console and any kind of remote access to almost any platform from anywhere. just in case you get a call while on vacation that something is wrong

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @08:20AM (#31921054)

    Though it doesn't have a key element for kids: A DVD drive or a suitable ability to play the same movies they watch at home.

    Anyone who has a kid knows if they like their kids movies then there's got to be a easy way for them to watch it. Most parents aren't going to be ripping their kid's whole collection of DVDs and putting them on an iPad. There needs to be a connection here for this to be even semi-viable for parents. That or iTunes is going to have to try to get some more kid's videos than I believe it has.

    I don't think Jr is really going to be all that excited about all the apps.

    • by Lectoid ( 891115 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @09:07AM (#31921584)
      I don't know, my 3.5 year old daughter and 1.5 year old son love daddy's "omputer" far more than TV right now. They can draw and color wherever they touch, then send the picture to grandma. Play animal sounds by touching the picture. They can watch an awesome animated Toy Story book as it reads to them (I read to my kids everyday, but try as I might I can't make books animated). She can watch cartoons on netflix anywhere in the house. And that's just in the first few weeks, Who knows what they'll come up with months from now. I went on a trip a few weeks ago and took my iPad and my laptop. My laptop is still in it's bag.

      Now I am like some of you in that your against apple's walled garden, but it's a big damn garden and I've yet to find something I need that's not in here.
    • My 3 Grandkids are always playing App Store games on our iPhones and iPod Touches when we travel.
      They play against each other too. And if there are only 2 devices they will actually "share" (!)
      They don't "watch" anything. (movies)
    • by alen ( 225700 )

      check out the iTunes store sometime

      DVD in best buy is $15 for 4 episodes of Dora the Explorer or some other kids cartoon like Little Einsteins. On iTunes is $15-$50 for a season of 26 episodes depending on the show and the season. and they have pretty much every other kids movie or cartoon that is out on DVD

  • by Go_Ask_Alex ( 459685 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @08:33AM (#31921202)

    As soon as I heard about the iPad 3G, the first thing I though of was velcro-attaching it to the dashboard to use as a GPS unit, with full true Google Maps functionality ("My Maps"). A couple of 3m Command Jumbo Hook "velcro" strips should hold an iPad on the dash just fine, until some company makes a decent suction mount.

    • by RulerOf ( 975607 )
      There's got to be a mount (or you could probably unscrew two of them and put them together) with suction cups on both sides.

      That'd get the job done.
    • by Targon ( 17348 )

      I use an air conditioner vent mount for my GPS, no need for a suction cup.

  • Laptop (Score:2, Interesting)

    by ickleberry ( 864871 )
    For the price of an iPad you could just buy a laptop, with a bigger screen, an actual keyboard, a decent non-restricted OS and maybe even an optical drive.
  • by Shag ( 3737 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @08:50AM (#31921342)

    The article mentions some of the advantages of ICE, including being weather-tested to work from -5 to 160 degrees F (-20 to 71 C)

    Great! Glad to know the ridiculously expensive option allows the little tikes to enjoy their Disney fare while dying of hypothermia or heatstroke.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by elrous0 ( 869638 ) *
      Actually, it's more appropriate to say that it can WITHSTAND those temperature extremes. While your kids may not be in the car when it's 120+F, those players still are. Try leaving a iPad out on the seat for about a year in Arizona and see if it still works (direct sunlight at the height of summer here can melt most common plastics outright). That "ridiculously expensive" DVD system is so priced because it's built to last and survive over the long-term in an environment with extreme temperature variations a
  • by Dan East ( 318230 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @08:54AM (#31921398) Journal

    We have two vehicles - one with an integrated dual-screen entertainment system (screens fold down from the ceiling), and another vehicle with a $100 DVD player strapped to the back of the seat (actually came with two screens, but the wires going between them got in the way too much so we only use one screen).

    Let me say there is no comparison. Having an integrated system is so much better it's not even funny. There are audio IR blasters integrated into the ceiling which allow 4 people to listen to the movie simultaneously via wireless headphones. If the movie is piped through the car's sound system then it is in full surround through the Bose audio system. My HTC Touch Pro 2 has video out, so I can plug it into the car and play Youtube, encoded videos, etc, right through the integrated system. Wired headphone jacks throughout, DVD controls on the ceiling in addition to standard IR remote.
    And the best part is the screens fold flat into the ceiling and totally disappear. Out of sight, out of mind, can't be stolen, scratched or have crap spilled on them.

    The BEST option, if money was no object, would be to purchase a vehicle with a fully integrated entertainment system, then add an "automotive" PC that can play back through that system as a secondary display (with the primary display being a touch screen in the front).

    • The BEST option, if money was no object, would be to purchase a vehicle with a fully integrated entertainment system, then add an "automotive" PC that can play back through that system as a secondary display (with the primary display being a touch screen in the front).

      the BEST option, if money was no object, would be to add a display at each seat, with a slide-out VGA touch display in the dash for the driver, and with a computer to serve each seat, running whatever it is that you prefer. For instance I might opt for Windows XP with XBMC as the shell for the driver's interface, specifically so that I could run some quality navigation software without virtualization. Using a PC with 5.1 (or better) audio and simply running it into amplifiers with their own volume controls

  • by hey ( 83763 )

    Better put a file server in your trunk (loaded with DVD images) that the kids can access from their iPads with Wifi.

  • The only motivation to buy such an expensive integrated DVD player is ... because it's integrated.

    You don't have LCDs loosely attached to the back of your seat, sliding slowly from the head rest to the floor, with ugly and cumbersome straps. You don't have dangling wires going from the player to the screen, with the kids feet in between. You don't have the DVD player resting on the middle seat or on the floor, sliding from far right to far left every time you change direction. You don't have a 12ft power ca

  • uhh (Score:3, Funny)

    by nomadic ( 141991 ) <nomadicworld@gmai l . c om> on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @09:29AM (#31921906) Homepage
    At $500 a pop, giving two kids their own iPads would cost far less than what the automakers charge for an ICE system.

    And the only drawback being they can't play DVDs at all? Why not replace the ICE system with a shiny rock they can look at, even cheaper than the ipad and it can't play DVDs either.
  • the iPad becomes the iMissile. INtegrated systems are crash tested extensively.
  • by night_flyer ( 453866 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @10:15AM (#31922508) Homepage

    you can buy an after market portable DVD player designed to use in a car...

  • by Sloppy ( 14984 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @10:50AM (#31923124) Homepage Journal

    Doesn't the exact same thinking apply to any personal computer that isn't bundled with the car? If a $500 iPad is trouble for Ford, then a $400 laptop that can do anything, even things not approved of by Apple, is even more trouble for Ford.

Order and simplification are the first steps toward mastery of a subject -- the actual enemy is the unknown. -- Thomas Mann