Is there still a market for stand-alone automotive GPS devices? Parrot thinks so. In October, the company unveiled its Parrot ASTEROID Mini multimedia system for cars. In addition to core GPS mapping functionality, the ASTEROID Mini allows users to manage calls and music. The device connects to Android and iOS devices via Bluetooth, and has a USB port for a 3G dongle.
The ASTEROID Mini’s 3.2-inch TFT color screen isn’t touch-enabled. But the device does come with a wireless remote control that users can mount to their dashboard or center console.
The ASTEROID Mini will retail for $300 and is expected to ship in the US in February 2013. Today, the device won FCC approval, so it looks like the device will be released right on schedule.
Parrot unveiled its Zikmu Solo Bluetooth wireless speakers at CES this year and today the device made its first appearance on the FCC. Designed by Phillipe Stark, the Zikmu Solo delivers 100W of output and can stream media via Bluetooth or WiFi. The device also features a dock for iPhones or iPods, although it’s unclear if the Zikmu Solo will be able to connect to the iPhone 5 without an adapter. The Zikmu Solo features a web interface that provides users with control over music, including a virtual equalizer. iOS users can also control the Zikmu Solo via web app, although no iOS app is available for the device at the moment.
The Zikmu Solo will retail for $1000 and will be available in lime, white, grey, black and red colors. Parrot has announced that the Zikmu Solo will be available by November, and today’s FCC filing suggests that the company is right on schedule.
There are an abundance of Bluetooth car docks available today, yet many of these docks are designed for specific mobile phone models. Parrot wants to eliminate this issue with its MINIKIT car dock, pictured above, which passed through the FCC today.
Unlike car docks designed for a specific device, the MINIKIT can be adjusted to accommodate for a wide range of mobile phones, including the iPhone. Once you have the MINIKIT adjusted for the size of your device, you simply attach it to your windshield via suction cup and you’re ready to go.
The MINIKIT acts as a Bluetooth speakerphone, as well as a handy mount for navigation apps. The device has an internal rechargeable battery that can be charged via cigarette lighter. The device also has a mini USB port for recharging your mobile devices.
No word on pricing or a release date.
Parrot unveiled their AR Drone at CES this year, and the remote quadricopter quickly became one of the more popular demos at the show. The device, which has four propellers, is controlled remotely by an iPhone and has front and vertical cameras which take pictures and video of its surroundings.
Today, the AR Drone made its way through the FCC, a good sign that Parrot will have no problems with meeting the September release date for the device in the US.
According to the AR Drone’s user manual, the device features a 1000 mAh Lithium polymer battery that takes an hour and 30 minutes to charge, and will last for 15 minutes at a time. The Drone’s front camera has a 93 degree wide angle lens that records video at 15fps at a 640 x 480 resolution. The Drone’s vertical camera has a 64 degree wide angle lens and records video at 60fps at a 176×144 resolution.
In terms of processing power, the device features an ARM9 RISC 32 bit processor running at 468MHz. The device runs a LInux-based OS and features 802.11 b/g WiFi. You can see pictures of the AR Drone’s motherboard below.
Like others at CES, we were quite intrigued by the AR Drone. The device’s Linux-based OS will likely offer developers a number of customization options. However, the device’s 15 minute battery life is a bit disappointing, and WiFi will limit the range of the AR Drone.
The AR Drone is scheduled for a September release in the US, and an August 18th release in the UK. The device will cost $299.
Want to add Bluetooth handsfree calling to your car, but don’t want a big speaker hanging off your visor? Parrot’s MKi9100 system gives you handsfree Bluetooth that is hardwired into your car’s audio system to reduce the need for external wiring, power cords and speakers in your car.
The MKi9100 consists of a small mic, a wireless control unit, a display, and an interface box that is installed behind the scenes. The interface box draws power from your batter, and connects directly to your car stereo, piping high quality sound through your car’s speakers.
You can install the wireless controller and display anywhere. However, the display and mic do need to be connected to the interface box with wires, so you’ll need to surface wires from your dash to connect these two devices.
Once installed, the MKi9100 brings you an elegant handsfree solution that should fit in nicely with your car’s interior. It does require quite a bit of work with wiring however, so you may want to leave installation up to professionals.
Note that Parrot has three versions of this solution, the MKi9000, MKi9100 (pictured) and the MKi9200. The Mk900 lacks a display, while the MKi9200 has a larger, higher resolution display than the MKi9100.