Shenzhen-based Innotrends has been pushing infotainment systems for a while now, and though standalone solutions like the Ca-Fi seem rather clunky when you can buy a Focus with Sync baked in, not everyone can count a flashy new "connected" model as their set of wheels. Today the company announced the latest version of its Android-powered infotainment system. The new Ca-Fi 621000 Universal runs Android Gingerbread and packs a 1GHz CPU with 512MB of RAM. It also sports a capacitive touchscreen rather than the resistive display of versions past, and there's an OBD2-USB cable, plus the pre-loaded Torque app for keeping tabs on your vehicle's health. If sprucing up your sedan is more in line with your budget than the 2013 BMW 7 Series with iDrive Touch and 3D maps, you can nab the Ca-Fi 621000 for $999 starting at the end of August -- just make sure your car has the requisite double-DIN slot first.
Upgraded Android 2Din Ca-Fi in-car infotainment to be launched end
August 2012; Supported by capacitance screen and OBD2 protocol
July 16, 2012, Shenzhen, China
In autumn 2011, Innotrends announced it was launching the world's
first Android platform 2Din in-car infotainment system, the Ca-Fi 620800
Universal. Since then, there have been similar products launched with
varying degrees of success but most have followed similar specifications
in terms of hardware and software. A few of the larger players in the
automotive and car audio industries are also putting in their chips
towards Android, albeit, not at the same pace as would have been
The new Ca-Fi 621000 Universal will be a significant upgrade over
existing products on the market. Currently Ca-Fi products on the market
are running on Android 2.2 with an 800 MHz processor supported by 256MB
of RAM. The Ca-Fi 621000 Universal runs on Android 2.3 and comes with a
1.0 GHz processor with 512 MB of RAM. Hands-on testing feels much faster
than the hardware indicates and is a big improvement over what is
available on the market.
That said, the main improvement to the current Ca-Fi and other products
on the market is the switch from pressure resistive screen to a
capacitance screen (same as most leading tablets on the market). This
makes the usability improve significantly, as the use of a stylus is no
longer needed, nor hard pressing, as is common with resistive screens.
Other improvements of note are an improved graphical user interface
(GUI) that is more logical and easier to use and OBD2 connectivity.
In this sense, the Ca-Fi unit running on Android 2.3 is unique amongst
all peers supported by Android on the market. With an OBD2-USB cable,
the Ca-Fi 621000 can connect to the electronic control unit of most
vehicles following the OBD2 standard protocol. For the layman, this
means the new Ca-Fi unit can talk to your car's computer (for most
cars built after the year 2000). This OBD2 connectivity is what most
modern mechanics use to read default engine codes, read engine data and
check emissions. To make the best use of this OBD2 connectivity, there
is a pre-installed fully licensed version of the Android App Torque that
can provide OBD2 data for supported vehicles. Torque is the leading OBD2
Android App market app and this version was customized especially for
Along with all these new goodies, the new Ca-Fi 621000 2Din will support
the normal array of functionalities we expect in a high end car audio
unit such as DVD/CD, GPS, hands free calling, music streaming, internet
connectivity, rearview camera, steering wheel controls along other AV
input/output expandability. Moreover, with simple kits available at
most car audio dealers, the 2Din standard size universal unit will fit
in most modern generation North American and European vehicles.
Pre-order will be announced prior to the end of the July with some
limited availability for those that pre-order the new capacitance screen
supported Ca-Fi 621000 Android infotainment unit. The product retails
for 999 USD and first shipments will be delivered end of August.
For more information on Ca-Fi and Torque OBD2 software, please see the
following links: www.ca-fi.com and www.torque-bhp.com