As more and more laws come into play preventing you from touching your phone while you drive, it’s likely that we’ll see more integration for our phones and car dashboards in the near future. With that in mind, an Aussie is looking at installing Android into cars and controlling it solely with your voice.
Named the “Online Talking Transit Operator” or “Otto” for short, the system acts as a car entertainment system that integrates AM/FM radio, GPS, Bluetooth, media playback with MP3 and DVD, and support for the Android ecosystem, withs apps such as Skype, Twitter, Facebook, and more.
Developed by Gizmosis founder Alex Kain, the concept came to him when he wanted to bring technology into the car without being distracted by all other tech in his life.
“Otto was also born from the desire to make in-car connectivity safe, legal and user-friendly,” said Kain. “I want to see a reduction in the number of horrific distraction related accidents, and restrictive legislation that can’t be adequately enforced alone is not the answer.”
“The reality is many people will continue to use their mobiles discreetly and in a dangerous manner. In embracing voice-control technology, Otto enables drivers to stay connected while keeping their eyes on the road and their hands upon the wheel.”
Otto certainly isn’t the first Android-based car system we’ve seen, with Parrot unveiling a similar product last year, and Renault reporting that it would be bringing Android-based tablets to its Clio and electric ZOE cars some time this year, though a time frame has yet to be nailed.
It is, however, one of the first Australian products for this purpose, existing mostly in a prototype stage at this point and expecting to hit retail mid-2013.
The Otto unit occupies more than just a single CD or car radio slot, and features both physical on-system controls and the tablet, with is a 7 inch 800×480 device running Android 2.3 with plans to shift it to the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.
WiFi is included, but not yet 3G, with the creators – Gizmosis – suggesting the best way to connect it online would be to turn your phone into a personal wireless hotspot.