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Parrot Expands Asteroid Line: Internet-Connected Devices for Your Car

Parrot introduces three in-vehicle infotainment systems, opens up platform to third-party developers.

Everyone is trying to get us to view the car as the biggest piece of technology we own, and Parrot is no different.

This year, Parrot has expanded its line of products that use its Asteroid platform, to bring us three after-market products for keeping our cars connected at all times. Parrot displayed its Asteroid CK, Asteroid NAV, and Asteroid 2DIN Sunday. All will be available by the end of 2012. Parrot unveiled the Asteroid platform at CES 2011. It's an open-source, Android-based platform for in-vehicle Internet connectivity.

What's New

The Parrot Asteroid CK is the most basic of the systems: It's a small Bluetooth-enabled system with a 3.2-inch screen and a wireless remote control that can be attached to your steering wheel. The Asteroid CK features Internet connectivity via 3G tethering (either from your phone or a hotspot), voice-recognition technology, and is compatible with all phone operating systems. Use the Asteroid CK for playing music, connecting to the Internet, and making hands-free phone calls, but it does not have built-in turn-by-turn navigation like the Asteroid NAV and the Asteroid 2DIN.

The Parrot Asteroid NAV and the Parrot Asteroid 2DIN are more similar to each other, but the NAV can be installed anywhere in the car (between the radio and the speakers), while the 2DIN replaces the radio. Both have large touchscreens (the NAV's is 5 inches, while the 2DIN's is 6.2 inches), built-in turn-by-turn navigation, Internet connectivity via phone tethering or hotspot, and voice recognition.

Apps

Parrot has also opened up its platform to third-party developers for app development. You can download the SDK at Parrot's website. According to Parrot, it wants to both port current Android apps from the Android Market, as well as have third-party developers design new apps for drivers and passengers built around four concepts: geolocation, driving assistance, contact management, and music.

Newly developed apps will be available to Asteroid users via a special "Asteroid Market," which will debut in the second half of 2012.

For more blogs, stories, photos, and video from the nation's largest consumer electronics show, check out PCWorld's complete coverage of CES 2012.

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