Can Your Smartphone Be a Carputer?


Windows Mobile in dashboard

Windows Mobile in dashboard

I like this concept from Celio because it leverages the smartphone platform, and more importantly, your data. They showed me this working mock-up. Look close because the automobile dashboard is solely a representative picture. It’s the 7-inch touchscreen display that’s real. That screen is commonly available as an option on autos, but what’s uncommon is to see Windows Mobile on it.

Yup, it’s another application of Celio’s technology in action. Concept only for now, but I could see it become reality. Smartphones are gaining traction over feature-phones, for one. And folks want access to their data all around them. If your existing phone and data plan can provide connectivity to the car, think about what you can do. Tap a contact name and have Google Maps directions appear without any typing or steam personalized audio from your home to your car. While a full-fledged PC and OS work here as well, this has to be far less costly while providing a good portion of the same functionality.



Garmin is developing an Android-based smartphone that includes their navigation software and all other Android applications (email, phone, etc.). It has a dock to connect to the car, and when you leave the car, you take it with you as your smartphone.

This could be an interesting model because:
1. You don’t leave the device in the car to be stolen.
2. It is not limited to the car. You can use the navigation software when you are riding your bike, walking, etc.
3. It can be used in ANY car, so their is no dependency on a car manufacturer.
4. You don’t have to buy both a smartphone AND a carputer.
5. You can use all of the existing and future Android applications.


I really like this idea, currently my phone just sits in a space on my dashboard. Would be great to access the information on it and use the built in sat nav on a much larger screen.


This is actually a really brilliant idea. Smartphones have plenty of processing power for most car-related tasks (gps, music playback, etc), and are designed to operate in restricted power situations, with smaller screens.

One of the major issues with carputers, historically, is powering the thing and getting a usable interface on that smaller screen, particularly to use while driving (though you’re not supposed to).

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