in Mobitopia

Mobile Phones make car stereos redundant

I wrote about getting a Nokia N-Gage as MP3 player a while ago. I may be getting a Nokia 6230 in the near future, which also features radio and MP3. Lots of phones can be paired with bluetooth GPS receivers and be used for in-car navigation.

If you want to use a phone in the car without being fined, you need a handsfree set. These can be connected to car speakers. So, in essence, we have more functionality in the mobile phone than in the car stereo. That, and it’s highly personalised.

I think we’re at a point where mobile phones could be capable of replacing car stereos once and for all. I mean, nearly everybody owns a mobile phone, and might want to use it in his or her car. Today, you need to install the handsfree kit, wire it to the car stereo, and install antenna and stuff.

What if cars came with a standard installation of speakers, an amplifier with bluetooth, and a GSM antenna? Everybody driving the car would already carry their personalized car stereo with favourite music and radio stations, a car stereo would not offer any additional value. You could also think of services that allowed you to plan your route in advance and receive alerts concerning traffic jams or diversions while on the road.

Jim has two good remarks. The witty one: that would solve the problem of stolen car radios – and the technical one: you might also listen to streaming content (once GPRS data gets cheap enough, that is), either from your favourite net radio station, or maybe from your private music collection at home – be your own DJ!

This may still be a bit too early, but the opportunity is here. What do you think?

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