• 06/19/2006
    1:00 PM
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How To Build A PC Into Your Car

Using a mini-ITX system, you can build a complete PC, right into the dashboard of your car. Talk about mobile computing!
While there are certainly some cons to going with mini-ITX, I believe the technology is sound. That's why I recommend it as the virtual heart of this build.

Car PC Benefits

The public's attitude about what belongs in a car, coupled with technological advances that have made components like displays more compact and robust, have transformed cars and SUVs into rolling infotainment centers. Not long ago, a video display in a car would turn heads; today, it's commonplace. Global positioning systems (GPS) that were once deployed exclusively by the military now listen for bleeps from space from consumer dashboards. DVD players, surround sound, and video displays have all become popular selling features for auto makers. Add to that the high-end options: satellite radio, Bluetooth connectivity, rear-view cameras, vehicle diagnostics and sensor monitoring, Wi-Fi, smart alarm systems, and more. As a result, consumers seek new possibilities for their mobile computing needs.

Car dealers and makers of satellite radio, GPS and media players are targeting a growing consumer market with individual infotainment products. But a well-built car PC can run all of these and more. It can also help consumers with route planning, Web browsing, personal scheduling, gaming, and general computing.

System builders should consider consumers to be just part of whom you should pitch for offering a road PC. There are also hardcore mobile computing applications you could offer, such as digital video recording for police vehicles with broadband connectivity. Also, consider inventory and transportation tracking systems for trucking and delivery companies that provide businesses the advantage of being able to pinpoint where their products and materials anytime anywhere.

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