Clarion launches Mirage, the first Android-based OEM grade car stereo – retail sales to start in fourth quarter

Clarion launches Mirage, the first Android-based OEM grade car stereo – retail sales to start in fourth quarter

Clarion, the ICE specialist, gave its new Mirage car stereo a world debut in Penang this afternoon. The Mirage’s claim to fame is that it’s the first Android-based full automotive grade car stereo in the market. ICE systems that utilise Google’s Android smartphone platform are in existence, but the key word here is full automotive grade, or OEM standard.

Japan’s Clarion is no stranger to the car stereo business, and is one of the most recognisable brands around, but the company now wants to take the tech lead with the Mirage, which Clarion Malaysia MD T.K. Tan calls “smart car stereo”, an equivalent to today’s smartphones.

Clarion launches Mirage, the first Android-based OEM grade car stereo – retail sales to start in fourth quarter

“Anyone who uses an Android cell phone knows that it is much more than just a device to make and receive calls. It is a smart phone. Similarly, the Clarion Mirage is more than just your typical car stereo, it’s a smart car stereo that is upgradeable,” he said.

Conceived and developed at Clarion Malaysia in Penang, the Mirage is equipped with a 6.5-inch LCD hooked up to Android’s touch-screen graphical user interface (GUI). I don’t use an Android handset, but according to a Samsung Galaxy Note user, the Mirage’s GUI is instantly familiar.

Clarion launches Mirage, the first Android-based OEM grade car stereo – retail sales to start in fourth quarter

With Android comes apps, and Clarion had one demo unit with Facebook, Twitter and even Angry Birds installed. There are of course many more apps from the Play Store.

This means that the possibilities provided by the Mirage are huge. Clarion’s latest uses the Android 2.2 Froyo, but customised for a car platform. The customisation was aided by Wind River, a wholly-owned division of Intel, which also provided software integration.

Clarion launches Mirage, the first Android-based OEM grade car stereo – retail sales to start in fourth quarter

But let’s not forget that this is a car stereo, so besides the Android bits, the Mirage is an AVN style double-DIN player that accepts SD cards, USB devices and Bluetooth connect, although it doesn’t have a disc slot.

Clarion believes that it’s looking forward, and discs are yesterday’s media. Besides, the head unit will be more reliable and longer lasting without a disc mechanism, the R&D guys explained. Android it may be, but the Mirage is iOS friendly – plug in your iPhone or iPod to play your portable music.

Clarion launches Mirage, the first Android-based OEM grade car stereo – retail sales to start in fourth quarter

The navigation engine is provided by Navigon AG. The Garmin company also helped Clarion compile maps of Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore into one big seamless map, which they say is the first of its kind.

Malaysian streets will be provided by Navi & Map while maps of our northern neighbour is courtesy of ESRI. Clarion’s R&D head tells us that Toyota in Thailand uses ESRI as well, so you’re in safe hands when wandering in Siam.

Clarion launches Mirage, the first Android-based OEM grade car stereo – retail sales to start in fourth quarter

Other features include radio with RDS and VAPS 3D, Clarion’s proprietary digital sound processing system. Besides audio and video, the Mirage can also display still images in a slideshow.

For now, Clarion is marketing the Mirage to car manufacturers and assemblers. “In order to qualify the Mirage as a full automotive grade product, we have had to design, develop and test it to meet international automotive standards for quality and safety,” Tan said.

Clarion launches Mirage, the first Android-based OEM grade car stereo – retail sales to start in fourth quarter

The Clarion boss revealed some names they’re talking to, and the list includes Proton (an existing Clarion customer), Perodua, GM Thailand, Nissan Thailand and “Nissan Malaysia” (he meant Edaran Tan Chong, we presume) so expect to see the Mirage in a future product.

Of course, each big customer can customise and pick the features they want in their cars. Expansion options include a vehicle telematics display, reverse camera, steering wheel buttons, additional rear LCD screens and a DVD player or changer.

Clarion launches Mirage, the first Android-based OEM grade car stereo – retail sales to start in fourth quarter

Retail sales will start in the fourth quarter of this year. No ballpark price was given, just that it will be “similar in price to today’s AVNs”. Doesn’t help much, we know, but this one looks like it could be worth the wait for those in the market.

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Danny Tan

Danny Tan loves driving as much as he loves a certain herbal meat soup, and sweet engine music as much as drum beats. He has been in the auto industry since 2006, previously filling the pages of two motoring magazines before joining this website. Enjoys detailing the experience more than the technical details.

 

Comments

  • ashraf on Mar 27, 2012 at 7:34 pm

    hot chick!!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
    • yourMoMmy on Mar 27, 2012 at 11:33 pm

      do clarion plan to release the win7 premium version? i love my mouse can click click clik in the car!! and joystick support and logitech steering integration for 3d racing game!!

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
    • dinni on Mar 28, 2012 at 12:48 pm

      dsc_0174b : ah-peks & the chicks…… huhu :-D

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
    • Lim Kopi on Mar 29, 2012 at 1:47 am

      YEAH!!

      Chicks are surprisingly hot for a mere car stereo launch …. I like the one on the far left … whats her name? :)

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  • Jeremy Clarkson on Mar 27, 2012 at 7:34 pm

    nice! Hope there will be a aftermarket version that u can buy and installl it by yourself in your car..

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  • tiadaid on Mar 27, 2012 at 7:41 pm

    I wonder if this is compatible with my Saga’s audio steering controls?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  • Grandpa Trucker on Mar 27, 2012 at 7:45 pm

    Awesome!! I mean those girls…Clarion+Android you make my heart beating so fast. Muehehehe!!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  • khairulx19a on Mar 27, 2012 at 8:12 pm

    what clarion???

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
    • bobdbilder on Mar 27, 2012 at 10:55 pm

      I know what you mean… I’ll go for Pioneer anytime. But you can read it from what they said; targeting car manufacturers. Sounds like el-cheapo to me.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  • android 2.2 ? kekekeke.. why not ics or at least 2.3? cant help but look like a cheap china made tablet.

    the middle model nice though!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  • oh hi, hello soon Proton car’s stereo :-)
    lalalalalala

    errr. what OS do we have in ‘other’ car you see. hmm :p

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  • yellowschoolbus on Mar 27, 2012 at 8:22 pm

    fap fap fap fap fap….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  • The girls are really hots!!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  • omg. dream come true finally

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  • Nai Kong on Mar 27, 2012 at 8:41 pm

    Nice! If only it can auto navigate your car from the basement parking to pick you up in lobby…….I’m not kidding, it is possible, right?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  • Dammnnn very hot..

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  • Danny, any contact details for the models/gals? :)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  • mfahd_88 on Mar 27, 2012 at 9:12 pm

    angrybird and face book on dashboard?
    nice..we’ll see the accident rate will sky-high right after this product is launched

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  • The Saint on Mar 27, 2012 at 9:24 pm

    I’m a bit confused here. Which is which is the “In Car Entertainment – ICE”? The device or the ones holding the device in the photos?……:-)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  • paohyean on Mar 27, 2012 at 9:34 pm

    This may be out of context..
    But the chicks sure look good..
    ;)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
    • beruk33 on Mar 27, 2012 at 10:51 pm

      yeah i can’t believe how good each one of them looks. never tired looking at those photos.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  • droll on Mar 27, 2012 at 9:39 pm

    finally. been waiting for this for so long………..imagine plugging a bluetooth OBD to this. then you can monitor all sorts of stuff from the car! :)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  • Edguy on Mar 27, 2012 at 9:50 pm

    Then install Waze – the FREE Social GPS & Live Traffic Update. It would be awesome!!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  • Fuyoh nice chicks : )

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  • papa rich mama shop on Mar 27, 2012 at 10:18 pm

    wooww. this is what i always wanted…
    gonna root this one also ,, huahahahha
    can play all kind of videos , perhap can online in the car watch utube n all ..
    superbbbb

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  • bobdbilder on Mar 27, 2012 at 11:05 pm

    Let’s see how it look like under the hot sun. Coz its gonna blur out. That’s why you see some have the display so small and/or recessed deep. The housing around the screen helps to give it some shade.

    This would be a quick fix against Ford’s system. But eventually people would want their own tablet to be docking with an amp. Its not really nice, but eventually someone will come up with it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  • when iPad coming to Proton cars, people say that will increase the accident rate because people will play angry bird and facebooking in their car,. but when it come to not-proton-related, people say “YAYYY.! can buy and but in my f**king car.! people will f**king jealous of me”!! daf*q? not backing proton, but seems not fair here.. hmmm

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  • no need to plug big ipad at dashboard! lolz

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  • Abuya on Mar 27, 2012 at 11:36 pm

    That middle chick is smoking hot. Danny, I want her contact number too. FB pun jadilah. Hahahaha…..

    Btw, 2.2 is ok…. In marketing strategy, you cant reveal you potential unless you have competitor.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  • SAGA BeLum Masak on Mar 28, 2012 at 12:07 am

    Wow.. Is the 3G included….. Should have been 4G instead…. (I mean the girl lah….)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  • Dayum that chick on the left is hot! If you’re reading this darling, thank ur momma!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  • ezracopters on Mar 28, 2012 at 1:02 am

    Nevermind the Clarion, look at the babe!!! hahaha nie kalau Anwar nampak dolls camni, maunya diterkam 3 tiga sekaligus !!!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
    • Hadi1975 on Mar 28, 2012 at 7:31 am

      Hallo bro….ini blog pasal kereta la..bukan pasal politik…kalo nak kutuk2 org pegi cari blog lain ok…..
      Nice chick by the way…especially the left one…center one also not bad… :)

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  • Prismo on Mar 28, 2012 at 9:18 am

    If wanna use the device, “Ilmu di DADA” kena tinggi.. just like that 3 ‘dolls’…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  • putra_rider on Mar 28, 2012 at 11:18 am

    ok, i like the left more than the middle.but the right one also can..

    technology improving everyday, maybe in future u can connect to the phone and record your driving behaviour and can do some analysist. And maybe, after have save your driving mode, u can plug to other car and set the car using your driving mode..

    just an idea which i think someone have make it real.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  • DewaSemut on Mar 28, 2012 at 11:48 am

    Clarion should make this introductory offer : Buy this Mirage ICE unit… The 3 girls will automatically send Facebook’s friend request to you… haha :P

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  • WhiteFox on Mar 28, 2012 at 12:17 pm

    i told u will get cheapo version from china in notime with their tech stealing/copying technology ><

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  • kantoi on Mar 28, 2012 at 1:29 pm

    LOL, discussion on car accessories become discussion on babes. Nice chicks though, just wonder how they look like without the ICI paint.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  • amirad on Mar 28, 2012 at 2:06 pm

    Not really into electronic gizmos in cars but stop the press who’s that?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  • Cheah Tat Cheong on Mar 28, 2012 at 7:58 pm

    I dunno bout you guys, but I feel a sudden urge to by a Clarion head-unit, not sure why…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  • i can see the slot for SD card but not for SIM Card

    wonder how it’s connected to the network? get wifi from our mobile AP? (which gonna drain my tablet battery faster)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  • Big Bird on Mar 29, 2012 at 12:15 pm

    There’s an Angry Bird in my pant, if you know what I mean …

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  • Android headunit owner on Sep 01, 2012 at 10:49 am

    The article is wrong. Clarion is not the first android based car stereo upgrade. There are two up and coming car head unit manufacturers that have had android based head units for the last 12 months. Erisin is one of them and their models range from $350 to $450

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
 

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