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Alpine stereo system hides GPS

Press one button, and you discover the hidden GPS unit in the latest Alpine dash entertainment suite. The folks at CES were so wowed by the hideaway qualities of the Alpine IVA-W205’s GPS slot that they gave it a Best of Innovators award.

First, though, we have that IVA-W205, which sports a boatload of features, including real-time traffic, AM/FM and satellite radio, DVD and iPod integration, MP3 and WMA capability, Bluetooth functionality, and adapter-free hands-free calling.

The hidden nav is the Blackbird PBD-P200, a full-blown GPS unit that can be plugged in to work with your car’s navigation system, or taken out for trekking around town to find all those POIs.

– iPod Full Speed Enabled: Directly connect an iPod and navigate large music libraries quickly and easily with on-screen display of artist, album, song or playlist.

– Satellite Radio Enabled: XM or SIRIUS satellite radio can be accessed with on-screen channel and song tag information.

– HD Radio Enabled: Access static-free digital HD Radio broadcasts with separate TUA-T500HD; new 2007 head units also get multicasting capabilities.

– USB WMA/MP3 Enabled: Play and control USB-based WMA/MP3 portable devices through the head unit.

– Bluetooth Enabled: Operate Bluetooth-enabled mobile devices wirelessly using the KCE-300BT Bluetooth interface module, developed in cooperation with Motorola. New 2007 Ai-NET head units show on-screen display of Caller ID, Missed/Dialed/Received Calls and direct dial Address Book access. Users can listen to music from audio service providers such as Motorola streaming audio services on Bluetooth-enabled phones or devices with Advanced Audio Distribution Profile (A2DP) streaming audio support. If the device has the Audio Video Remote Control Profile (AVRCP), basic control of the music files such as Play/Pause, and Track Up/Down is enabled through the head unit.

– SIRIUS Plug and Play Enabled (new 2007 head units only): Play and control select SIRIUS plug and play devices through the head unit.

– XM Mini-Tuner Enabled: Use a new 2007 Ai-NET head unit to play and control portable devices that use XM’s new Mini-Tuner platform. The XM Mini-Tuner is a tiny cartridge that contains the XM chipset, making it possible for subscribers to take their XM subscription from one XM compatible device to another, including from home to car. Separate Mini-Tuner car dock and Smart Digital Adapter for Alpine head units required, sold separately.

We know that the W205 will be available in April for US$899. The Blackbird will come a bit later, but we don’t know when or for how much. What the package deal will cost is also undetermined.

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