Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Four Ways To Smarten Up Your Car

This article features four new up and coming technologies for use in automobiles. The areas of technology consist of mobile computing, 21st century radio, solar phone, and GPS. The first new up and coming feature is a Dashboard Device called ENV-XC. This built-in computer system “lets you give your ordinary car a dose of smarts.” The computer contains a 1.66-gigahertz Intel Core Duo processor, 1 gigabyte of memory, 160 gigabyte hard drive, and a touch screen for operation. Additional features include a DVD-read/write drive, a USB port, a GPS navigation system, and WiFi. The cost of this Dashboard Device is $2,750. The second new up and coming feature is a radio called the MiRoamer. This radio allows access to all of the Internet stations around the world through the use of Bluetooth technology. The estimated prices at release range from $300 to $400. The next up and coming feature is the solar phone. This speakerphone uses Bluetooth to connect to one’s cell phone, allowing the press of just one button to answer phone calls and dial using voice commands. An hour of daylight exposure allows two hours of battery life. One option, the LG solar-powered speakerphone, costs $100. Finally, there is the up and coming portable GPS navigation system, the GY 135. This touch screen controlled system will verbally direct and reroute automatically. “It is loaded with maps of the United States right out of the box.” Other United States and Canadian maps can be stored with the use of a memory card. The price of this GPS navigation system is $189.

This up and coming technology is exciting to hear about. Though this may be expensive for some people, the ENV-XC is a piece of technology that can save a lot of time, effort, and nerves. One of the things I personally hate to see while driving is someone talking on a cell phone after they’ve cut me off because they are not paying attention to the road. The solar phone and Bluetooth technology can minimize, if not eliminate this problem. A simple, hands-free device can save a lot of headaches and lives. Likewise, the GPS navigation system can do the same. Lost drivers tend to make sudden decisions, possibly putting themselves and other drives in danger. The GPS can greatly assist with this problem. My only issue with this up and coming technology is the inevitable dependency that we will develop. Eventually this technology will be a normal part of the automobile industry, thus causing us to become used to a computer doing all of our thinking for us. We will rely so heavily upon a computer system that we will begin lacking in our own personal navigation and common sense skills. What happens if the computer system fails? As long as we do not rely too heavily upon this new technology, it will greatly assist us in saving time.


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