We're going to be touring pre-CES and CES show floors looking for interesting things to make note of, and already found something that piqued our attention. While walking around CES Unveiled, one device which caught our eye was the Parrot Asteroid, a single DIN sized head unit for vehicles - that's nothing out of the ordinary, except the Asteroid runs Android.

The Asteroid includes a 3.2 inch screen on the front which unfortunately isn't touch sensitive, however the Parrot has written its own Android UI to mitigate the lack of touch input. Reps weren't sure what version of Android the Asteroid was running, but noted that development has been going on for a little over two years, which leads us to suspect the 1.6 sort.

The head unit has no fewer than three USB ports on the rear for connecting a 3G dongle, GPS dongle, and removable storage, and a fourth dedicated for iDevices. On the front underneath the removable faceplate is a slot for SD cards. 

The Parrot will have its own SDK and marketplace for applications - necessitated by that lack of traditional touch input. Parrot will provide first party maps support (and hopefully turn by turn navigation if you include 3G and GPS), as well as audio playback and library support for iDevices and external storage. There isn't any word on what codecs are supported, but it's reasonable to expect the same suite of codecs as you'd get in stock Android. The usual Bluetooth, AM/FM and RDS support (like you'd expect from a head unit) will also be present. Parrot is shooting for availability early 2011. 

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  • johnspierce - Wednesday, January 5, 2011 - link

    I just bought an Alpine IXA-W407 double-din stereo for my car. It has GPS, Bluetooth and supports both regular USB and iOS for playback. I bought a bunch of 4gb USB sticks and put different genres of music on each.

    This head unit has no capability of playing CD/DVD at all. Why would I want that? CD/DVD is virtually dead. It is SO much better playing music off USB sticks; takes up less room, cheap, easy to change.

    I would LOVE to have a double-din 7" screen Android deck with USB ports and 4G/LTE support.

    On your next car deck, seriously; ditch the CD/DVD, it's *obsolete*

    signed -- 54 year-old-guy.
  • Yowen - Thursday, January 6, 2011 - link

    For my car I still prefer cd's as previous posters said, my friends bring cd's for road trips, I have a lot of old music on cd. and one mp3 cd can hold a LOT of music.
  • ckgreenman - Thursday, February 17, 2011 - link

    Shoot. I'm 39 and my first thought was I hope there ISN'T a CD player. The last CD I bought (about a week after it was released) was Iced Earth Glorious Burden and it has sat, unplayed, in my car CD player since about a week after I ripped it.
  • PotatoMAN - Wednesday, January 5, 2011 - link

    Get a 3G dongle and stream what you want when you want online.
  • ckgreenman - Thursday, February 17, 2011 - link

    Exactly. Better yet, I have my entire music library shared on my home network (DLNA and uPnP are awesome) and I can access them online as well. The only thing I keep with me is my workout playlist because the gym is an RF hole. No 3G and no WiFI.
  • metafor - Wednesday, January 5, 2011 - link

    What the hell's a "CD"?
  • PyroHoltz - Wednesday, January 5, 2011 - link

    They're sort of like vinyl records but instead, digital and much smaller. ;-)
  • knedle - Wednesday, January 5, 2011 - link

    I don't have friends that use CDs anymore, but I have plenty of friends with mp3 players, or mobile phones that they connect to my very cheap stereo. 30$ for stereo without CD support (version with CD drive - 65$).
  • CloudX - Wednesday, January 5, 2011 - link

    This is true.. If you're picking up a girlfriend or a date and she's like "omg I want to hear this new cd!! Can I put it in?", you had better be able to quickly play that CD.. I'm just saying, it's happened to me.
  • Pessimism - Wednesday, January 5, 2011 - link

    If that happens, you are dating the wrong woman.

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