Last June, along with a new versions of Android, Google announced several new hardware platforms for Android, including Android Wear, Android TV and Android Auto. While we saw Android Wear almost immediately, Android TV has finally launched in the US in the form of the Nexus Player, but so far Android Auto has failed to materialise. Parrot has changed that today, announcing the Parrot RNB6 head unit, running a customised version of Android 5.0, but with support for Android Auto (as well as Apple’s CarPlay).
Don’t get too excited yet, while there’s an announcement that the “RNB6” (they’ll come up with a better name before the commercial launch) exists and it’s got some pretty snappy selling points to it; there’s no release date and pricing is also yet to be announced.
Parrot showed the head unit to the team over at Engadget who are at CES have been lucky enough to get a quick look at the first after market Android Auto system that has made a public appearance. The RNB6 will have :
- 7-inch 720p IPS Pro touchscreen
- 4 x 55-watt audio amplifier (sufficient to drive better than average car speakers)
- A wired wide-angle 1080p dash cam
The Double DIN head unit ticks a lot of boxes that in car audio requires and a whole bunch more that those of us looking towards in car automation are looking for. Running Android Auto, users can look to enjoy all the mod cons you’d expect from an in car infotainment system such as voice and touchscreen control of telephone function (depending on your phone that is connected to the head unit), navigation, media playback, dash cam and for cars that support third party hardware plugging in; parking assistance and on-board diagnostics such as for tire pressure, parking sensors and air conditioning.
Looking at whats starting to pop up in the Android Auto arena, it’s clear that the wearables and connected lifestyle products are a strong driver for manufacturers in the coming 12 months or so. The question is, is this where the consumers want to go or do we need a break from everyone being able to contact us all the time?
What do you think about the constant connectivity lifestyle we live in, do we need it or have we just grown accustomed to it?