Clarion Launches First Android-based OEM Grade Car Stereo

If you know car stereos, you’ve heard of Clarion. They’re known for all sorts of ICE (In-Car Entertainment) devices. Now they are adding one called Mirage and it runs Android. The Mirage debuted in Malaysia yesterday and has the distinction of being the first Android-based, OEM grade car stereo.

Clarion Malaysia MD T.K. Tan calls the Mirage a “smart car stereo” and likens it to today’s smartphones.

“Anyone who uses an Android cell phone knows that it is much more than just a device to make and receive calls. It is a smart phone. Similarly, the Clarion Mirage is more than just your typical car stereo, it’s a smart car stereo that is upgradeable.”

The Mirage has a 6.5-inch LCD touch screen running at 800 x 400,  and runs Android 2.2 Froyo, specially customized for a car platform by Wind River, a division of Intel. Though the UI is made to fit a car stereo, it is very familiar to us Android geeks. Connectivity is plentiful, with the following options:

  • 1 USB port
  • 1 SD Card slot
  • 1 AUX IN
  • 1 AUX OUT
  • 1 AV IN
  • 1 AV OUT
  • RCA OUT x 4 channels
  • Bluetooth
  • Microphone for hands-free operation

The Mirage can download apps from the Play Store, and the screenshots show a demo unit running Facebook, Twitter, and even Angry Birds. I already see some car accidents occurring due to trying to kill that last, stubborn green pig.

Interestingly, this device does not have a CD slot, Clarion stating that CD’s are yesterday’s media, and that the head unit becomes more reliable without a disc mechanism. It does support playing music from an SD card, USB devices, and Bluetooth, and is even compatible with iPhones and iPods.

The unit includes GPS software from Navigon AG, a Garmin company. The AM-FM radio supports RDS, and Clarion’s own digital sound processing system, VAPS 3D, is also on board.

The Mirage will be marketed to car manufacturers, such as Proton, Perodua, GM Thailand, and others. This is “in order to qualify the Mirage as a full automotive grade product…” The manufacturers have their choice of expansion options, such as a vehicle telematics display, reverse camera, steering wheel buttons, additional rear screens, and a DVD player or changer.

Sales to retail channels will start in Q4 of this year, but no price was given.

Check out the gallery of pics below.

source: paultan

About the Author: Ed Caggiani

Originally from the East Coast, Ed now makes his home in San Jose, California. His passion for technology started with his first ColecoVision and Atari gaming systems, and has grown stronger through Tandy computers, IBM clones, Palm Pilots, and PocketPCs. Ed's love for Android began with his first HTC Hero, then blossomed with the original Evo 4G, and now the Evo 3D and Motorola Xoom. He graduated from Syracuse University with a B.S. in Communications, and is now a professional User Experience Designer working in Silicon Valley. In his spare time, Ed enjoys video games, jamming on guitar, and spending time with his wife, two cats, and Logitech Revue.

  • Astrom81

    This is a B-class version of the Road Terminator sold on Chinavasion. It runs Gingerbread and has a detachable 7″ panel that doubles as a tablet pc! Now THAT’S cool!

    • Android4Life

      That would be cool if the build quality matched the features. I did order a cheap (140$) android tablet from Dealextreme year ago and gave it away for free next week. It was horrendous in every way. You usually get what you pay. Less than 400$ for a tablet and car stereo combined you should be ready for very mediocre product.

    • ianken

      LOL. ”
      Road Terminator sold on Chinavasion”

      WHO? What?

      Clarion has been in mobile audio for ages. They are a know quantity. B-Class? At least I know who they are.

  • Anthony Choo

    Wondering if it is compatible to 2007 alphards