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Pioneer reveals SmartCradle for iPhone, shows display concept at CES


Car audio company Pioneer just held a press conference here at CES, and TUAW was in attendance to see the reveal of their new SmartCradle product, a mounted iPhone-specific dock for the car. As car docks go, this one is pretty solid -- it is iPhone-specific (though the latest iPod touch will also work), and it's a "smart dock," which means that it will send its own built-in GPS information ("enhanced," Pioneer told us, by an onboard gyroscope and accelerometer) to Core Location for any location-based app you happen to pull up. In other words, it's a superpowered GPS device that also serves as a Bluetooth mic-and-speaker enabled in-car mount.

The dock also has what's called "automatic sound leveling" (which monitors your in-car environment and adjusts its speaker level to make sure you hear GPS directions or other output when things get loud), and it has actual audio and video output, which will send video from apps with video-out enabled to another screen in the car. No pricing or date has been announced for the SmartCradle, but Pioneer is supposed to have it out sometime later this year.

And speaking of video out, Pioneer also showed off a concept called Network Vision Heads Up Display at the show (and will have a unit running on the show floor featuring the technology). You can see a picture of what they showed after the break -- the idea is that you would plug your smartphone into the car, and then get video from the device projected directly on the windshield as a display. This is still just a concept, but it's an interesting idea. We'll take a look at how it works on the show floor and let you know.

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