The idea of docking your iPod or iPhone in your car for mobile music enjoyment is nothing new. There are plenty of cars and car stereos out there with iPhone integration, but the O’Car is a different contraption altogether. It doesn’t really have its own controls or display; it completely relies on your iPhone for that.
Coming by way of Oxygen Audio, the O’Car is a car stereo that you would install the way you normally install a head unit, but there is very clearly a spot in the front where you mount your iPhone. Using the appropriate app, your iPhone then becomes the primary control screen for the stereo. The only real controls that I think I see on the O’Car is the volume knob. There is a built-in RDS radio tuner too, so you don’t lose out on the morning deejays by using this.
What’s interesting is that your iPhone can be oriented either in portrait mode or in landscape mode and it can be running just about any app. You’re not restricted to your iTunes collection, because the O’Car will more than happily stream your Pandora Radio action, for example. Not surprisingly, it charges your iPhone too.
I’m all for integration, but what if you don’t have your iPhone on you? What if someone needs to borrow your car and they’re rocking a Nexus S instead? And what’s to say that the O’Car will be compatible with the inevitable iPhone 5 when it comes out next year? The O’Car offers an interesting proposition, but it’s clearly not for everyone. We expect to find more info at CES next month. You know, like pricing.