Harman Kardon has launched a new device aimed at iPod users who don't have a cassette deck in their car stereo to allow them to enjoy their hard drive based player.
Called Drive + Play, the unit promises complete iPod control, including full browsing and playlist handling capability, while minimizing distractions for drivers.
The unit comes in three pieces; a control knob, a LCD display and a box of tricks that Harman Kardon is calling a “Brain”.
The backlit LCD screen, large enough to present five lines of iPod menu text and attaches to your dashboard. The five-button navigation control unit with universal mounting options mimics the iPod's user interface and can be mounted on the center console or other location for easy access while driving. The controller features four buttons that control the play/pause, forward, backward and iPod menu functions; a rotating dial around the perimeter that can be used for forward and backward scrolling; and a center button for the “enter” command.
3. “The brain” serves as an information processor and connecting port. The brain houses a wired FM transmitter with five factory-set frequencies and one definable by the user. It will also offer a 3.5mm audio output jack. The Drive + Play charges the iPod when docked.
Harman Kardon has yet to set a price for the Drive + Play, however the company estimates it will cost in the region of £169 and include a voucher to have it professional installed. It is likely to be available in November 2005.