2006 Consumer Electronics Show

The hottest electronic goodies for the car, truck, and home

Allyson HarwoodJun 19, 2006
Part sideshow, part gizmo and gadget playground, the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas is the annual unveiling of the hottest electronic goodies for the car, truck, and home. Here are some highlights--a few products you'll want as well as two vehicles that you just won't believe.
Imagine if Ford had designed a medium-duty Excursion. That's what West Coast Customs built for Directed Electronics. Based on an F-650, the truck was stretched, given dualie fenders, and has a new body from the B-pillar back. It rides on an airbag suspension, and its custom interior contains a complete mobile electronics system, along with a motorized amp rack--just what every medium-duty owner needs.
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What it's done: Pioneer's newest navigation system learns your preferences.
Why you want it: The nav understands relaxed language, like "I wanna go to LAX," takes speed limits into account, and can learn preferred routes, such as avoiding a particularly congested street or freeway.
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Contact: Pioneer, pioneerelectronics.com
What it's done: KVH and Microsoft are working together to bring Internet access to your vehicle.
Why you want it: Passengers can watch TV, check e-mail, surf the Web, and look at digital images while your truck, SUV, or RV is in motion. The truck becomes a hotspot for wireless Internet.
Contact: KVH Industries, 401/847-3327; kvh.comkvh.com
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What it's done: Stargate Mobile is offering an in-vehicle computer to help create the ultimate mobile office.
Why you want it: It has a full-feature touchscreen PC, which can be used in or outside your truck. It combines Windows XP, Internet access, and vehicle navigation.
Contact: Stargate Mobile, 810/694-9300; stargatemobile.com
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What it's done: Alpine has created a portable, handheld GPS navigation system.
Why you want it: You can use the Blackbird, which contains full maps of the U.S. and Canada and six million POIs, in a rental, or any other vehicle you want--you're no longer tied to a single truck for a nav system.
Contact: Alpine USA, 310/326-8000; alpine-usa.com
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This is probably the first time anyone has modified an armored truck like this! Boss Audio, a company based in Oxnard, California, used the Brinks-type truck to display its mobile electronics components. Boss filled the truck with amps, speakers, and subwoofers, and actually found a way to get attention in a show filled with over-the-top sights and sounds.
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