CarSkreen - A Connected Car Solution for YOU
CarSkreen - A Connected Car Solution for YOU
The CarSkreen displays a smartphone users favorite navigation and media apps on a 7 inch screen within the driver's sight-line.
The CarSkreen displays a smartphone users favorite navigation and media apps on a 7 inch screen within the driver's sight-line. Read more
As President and Founder of GoSkreen, I have envisioned the connected car for over 5 years. In 2008, I provided demonstrations of Clearwire’s upcoming 4G (WiMax) network, initially in a bus. These demonstrations were geared to show the power of a mobile high speed network, but they also demonstrated the ability to stream music and videos, and to provide GPS navigation, all while in motion. Later these demonstrations were shifted to mini-vans with USB connected touch screens connected to computers in the back compartment with large power supplies. The USB touchscreens allowed all of the applications to be run from the passenger seats, providing a clearer picture of how a connected car could operate and what service would be important to the driver and passengers. At this stage the cost of equipment and vehicle modifications as well as the complex computer configuration made this connected car solution a concept, not a reality. Over the past 3 years, smartphones have advanced to provide services that were limited to PC’s in 2010 and applications have made mapping, navigation, streaming music, streaming videos, and playing games second nature to even our children. As tablets came to the market place in 2010, I envisioned a tablet screen that would be easily installed on the dash console to provide heads up display of navigation, mapping, or streaming audio from a smartphone. For this solution to have mass market appeal it needed to:
• Install in the majority of cars (View the CarSkreen installed in six different vehicles) http://instagram.com/carskreen
• Operate with the majority of smartphones
• Operate with any smartphone application
In late 2012, I realized that the technologies for this solution existed for the iPhone 4 series as well as the Samsung Galaxy series. The release of the iPhone 5 series was compatible with the CarSkreen at its launch as well as the HTC One, HTC Droid DNA, and the Sony Experia. If we just count Apple and Samsung smartphones, the CarSkreen is compatible with nearly 63% of the US smartphones. Considering the top 4 US Carriers total 328 million subscribers and they have exceeded 60% smartphone penetration, in the US market alone, there are 122 million smartphones compatible with the CarSkreen.
- Can be used in multiple cars
- Changing smartphones only requires an adapter change
- Accessing Navigation or Media Applications is as easy as using your smartphone
- Audio output can be connected to your car speakers
- The CarSkreen shelf utilizes a StickyPad surface which holds the phone firmly in place around corners and over speed bumps.
- Not available for purchase until mid-2014
- GoSkreen 7” Display
- Dash hanger and case (includes backseat hanger and dash hanger extensions)
- Removable phone shelf
- AC Charger
- Car Adapter
- Audio cable (takes audio from the CarSkreen headset output to the car speakers audio jack)
- GoSkreen adapter (Adapter shown is Android prototype)
To highlight the CarSkreen’s flexibility in providing navigation, mapping, and media content to its users, we have developed application wheels for each of the CarSkreen’s operating environments.
Driver Application Wheel:
CarSkreen Driver Applications Demonstration:
Back Seat Application Wheel:
CarSkreen Backseat Applications Demonstration:
Office Application Wheel:
CarSkreen Office Applications Demonstration:
Navigation Screens: (Prototype adapters are pictured. The final adapters will eliminate the cable loops on the right hand side of the device.)
Other Connected Car Solutions:
To discuss other connected car solutions, I will break the connected car into two pieces; Media/Navigation and Vehicle Diagnostics. My focus will be on the strengths and weaknesses of the connected car solution related to the Media/Navigation facet. Generally the focus on vehicle diagnostics has been to gather and display vehicle information and display it on the car LCD screen and possibly upload that information to your dealer or car manufacturer. The car manufacturers or third party manufacturers can choose to provide the same information from their sensors to a smartphone app similarly to the way you can use your smartphone to check the alarms and turn off lights at your home.
Brian Goemmer is core initiator and developer for the CarSkreen project. Brian holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Washington State University and a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) from California State University, East Bay. Since graduating, Brian has worked in many areas of technology including over 15 years building and operating wireless networks, initially for Western Wireless and then for Clearwire. For the last 3 years, Brian has developed a consulting business, AllNet Labs, that focuses on 4G network technologies and wireless carriers. During his last two years at Clearwire Brian provided high level technology demonstrations that required new technologies to be configured on user devices and on the Clearwire's network. These demonstrations were visionary in focus. Applications and services were demonstrated that were not available to the public because the wireless networks to support them were not public. Through out Brian's wireless carrier experience, he executed multi-million projects and technology roll outs requiring exception project management skills, technical aptitude, and troubleshooting skills. Brian's core background of electrical engineering combined with both his MBA and vast business experience, provides him with the skills to make the CarSkreen project a success.
Where are we now:
January 2013 - Initiated Provisional Patent Application
March 2013 - Filed Provisional Patent Application
March 2013 – Engaged a production facility to develop display prototype
April 2013 - Received Provisional Patent
May 2013 – Initiated hanger and case prototype
June 2013 – Received first display prototype
June 2013 - Applied for GoSkreen Trademark
July 2013 – Received hanger and case prototype
September 2013 - Applied for CarSkreen Trademark
September 2013 - Received GoSkreen Trademark
September 2013 – Initiated adapter prototypes
October 2013 – Initiated phone shelf prototype
November 2013 - Received CarSkreen Trademark
November 2013 – Received initial hanger, case, and shelf prototype
December 2013 - Received final display prototype
December 2013 – Received first adapter prototypes
December 2013 - Initiated Non-Provisional Patent Application
The final modifications to the hanger/case/shelf design have been completed and are ready for 3D printing. The final prototype will be printed mid-January so mold can be initiated as soon as this Kickstarter project exceeds its funding requirement.
The final prototype of the GoSkreen 7.0 display device has been received. Verification of operating features will occur mid-January so the firm production order can be initiated as soon as this project exceeds its funding requirement.
GoSkreen GS-A adapter (for Android): Initial prototype received and validated. We are working to resolve and issue that interferes with the smartphone’s ability to stay locked onto GPS satellites for location tracking information. We are expecting this to be resolved during the project funding phase so a production order can be initiated as soon as Kickstarter funds are available.
GoSkreen GS-4 adapter (iPhone 4/4th Gen): Initial prototype received and validated. We are working to resolve issues with smartphone charging and GPS interference. The solution to the GPS interference issue will be the same solution applied to the GS-A adapter. We believe that the smartphone charging issue can be resolved but if the issue drags out, we will launch the GS-4 adapter without smartphone charging and provide updated adapters when they are available.
GoSkreen GS-5 adapter (iPhone 5/5th Gen): The GS-5 adapter prototype has been tested but will have to be manufactured differently than the GS-A and GS-4 adapters. After the Kickstarter funds are available we will plastic mold design and design process for spec cables. The delivery of the GS-5 adapters will be 1-2 months after the GS-A and GS4 adapters are available.
The initial concept tablet confirmed size, weight, and appearance. The 2nd concept tablet updated the input and output connectors to my specification as well at the top buttons (Power, Volume, and Brightness).
This was the first working prototype. At this stage, features were programmed to the wrong buttons. Power on was on the Brightness + key. Prototype 2 is shown disassembled because the video input connector broke off during testing. This caused a redesign of the adapter so it can be mounted to the back of the case eliminating the pull on the connectors.
Prototype 3 corrected the programmed functions for each button but the Volume and Brightness buttons had a range of 0-100. This range was reduced to 0-20 so the user can mute the display monitor is roughly 3 seconds. During the testing of Prototype 4 I determined that the output voltage on the charging connector needed to be higher and an audio buzz needed to be corrected.
Prototype 5 improved the voltage on the charging connector when it was running on the display's internal battery and resolved the audio buzz. The voltage on the charging connector when the display is charging remained a problem. Prototype 6 is the latest prototype. The voltage on the charging connector when the display is charging has been corrected. The video signal breaks on this prototype, but that issue will be resolved when the display monitors are manufactured by machine. All of these prototypes were hand configured. Prior to the full production run, I will receive a machined prototype for verification and testing.
Hanger, Case, and Shelf:
The CarSkreen Hanger and Case provides for the extension straps to be shifted to different slots to minimize obstruction to car controls and air vents. The hanger, case, and extension straps have been designed with quick release clips so the CarSkreen can be removed or re-installed in seconds.
The initial case design prototype utilized utility cord and sliding stoppers to adjust the distance from the hanger to the case. In practice I found that although adjusting the distance for the CarSkreen to hang over the radio slot of the car was accomplished easily, removal of the case from the hanger was difficult. The second case design prototype utlized 3/8" nylon straps with Quicklock connectors. With this design, the CarSkreen case can be quickly connected and disconnected, even with one hand. The final design modification for the third case prototype incorporated a removable shelf which folds out of the way when not in use. As I performed my in-car testing of the CarSkreen, it was clear that seats and cupholders were no ideal places for the connected smartphone. The shelf is designed to be covered with a sticky pad surface which will hold the smartphone in place around corners and over speed bumps. In addition, the shelf is angled to hold the smartphone in a landscape viewing mode to file the entire CarSkreen. The shelf places the smartphone at the base of the CarSkreen so the smartphone can be used as a controller for the CarSkreen.
The initial proof of concept adapter was Prototype 1 above. The design goal of a simple installation required that there would only be 3 connections required to connect a smartphone to the CarSkreen; power and video at the CarSkreen and a micro USB connection to the smartphone. The 1st Prototype adapter had 6 different cable connections which were reduced to the required 3 connection in the 2nd prototype.
The iPhone 4 adapters were carried through a similar development exercise to adapter the Prototype 1 adapter to the CarSkreen with a minimum number of cable connections.
We need the support from Kickstarter to fund:
- The mold manufacturing cost
- The initial hanger/case/shelf production order
- The initial GoSkreen 7.0 display device production order
- The initial GS-A adapter and GS-4 adapter production order
- Mold design and custom cable tooling for the GS-5 adapter
Risks and challenges
The CarSkreen has been designed to utilize a standardized technology that is available from multiple handset manufacturers. Using this technology has enabled us to eliminate the need to develop individual software solutions for each compatible device and the need to continue software development to match the software upgrades and new device schedules. There is a possibility that the handset manufacturers could cease supporting the standardized output technology but we consider this to be a low risk that may affect new handsets but would not likely be removed from existing handsets. To this end, we believe in developing a community, starting with our Kickstarter supporters, that demands this functionality continue in future handsets. This community will be important, as well, in creating support with the application developer’s ecosystem. CarSkreen’s desire is for applications across platforms (Apple and Android) to look and feel the same on the CarSkreen. In addition, we would like to engage the CarSkreen community to encourage Microsoft and Nokia to provide their customers with a choice by providing this output technology in their devices.
As we are beginning this Kickstarter campaign, several of the iPhone applications do not rotate to a landscape orientation, like their sister/brother applications for Android. We have targeted specific partnerships with application developers to resolve these issues and believe that application developers will be happy to make these modifications since it will increase the use of their application in the vehicle environment.
With the proprietary nature of Apple connectors, there is a risk that we won’t be able to provide iPhone charging through our initial adapters.
All of our suppliers are established suppliers in this industry but are new suppliers to us. We have discussed project timetables but there is always the risk of the unforeseen. With two Chinese manufacturers, we have begun to understand their holiday schedule and how it will impact our schedule.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)