BimmerFest BMW Forum banner

1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I've got a new E90 with iDrive and due to me wanting a car immediately I didn't want to wait for months to get one with all the options I wanted. So I ended up getting one without bluetooth for my cell phone, but everything else I wanted. There are two things I would like to add/integrate to the car. One is a handsfree bluetooth for my phone and the other is my iPod.

As far as I can make out the best I can do for the phone is a Parrot bluetooth kit which would mean sticking another screen somewhere on the dash and this would cost somehwere in the region of $600 CAD installed.

Next the iPod, I have been quoted $850 CAD by the BMW dealer to install this, at least it integrates fully with the iDrive, but this is double the cost of an actual iPod, and I'm only getting some wires for my money!

Finally my point, surely it would be better for BMW to have a couple of USB ports in the glove box, in the armrest and maybe a couple in the trunk. From here BMW (or other companies) can offer various devices that can make use of the user interface (screen and input) offered by iDrive and offer much better integration for so many devices from cell phones to iPods (and all other digital music players) and who knows what else.

BMW may want to protect it's revenue stream, but currently it doesn't seem to offer many accessories like I have outlined above. It could always design some proprietory interface and license the technology or something to protect this source of revenue.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,176 Posts
Two Sheds said:
Next the iPod, I have been quoted $850 CAD by the BMW dealer to install this, at least it integrates fully with the iDrive, but this is double the cost of an actual iPod, and I'm only getting some wires for my money!
I think it is more than a few wires and some of the cost is labour, but I agree. $850 for that is stupid. Add the sales tax, and you are at almost $1000! I think I paid about $300 for the previous generation iPod interface on my E46. It was not actually all that great, but I would be willing to spend about the same for the improved E90 version. I guess I will be sticking with the Belkin charger and Aux-in cable for a while.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
712 Posts
Or you could just buy the BMW bluetooth module for a lot less than 900 and install it yourself..

And then, you could just plug your ipod into the AUX in port, which wouldn't give you control over the ipod, but you would get audio. (cost 0.00).

If you really want IPOD integration you could also buy the icelink from Dension, or just go to a dealer that won't rip you off for labor...

I think you make a good point, and I would love to see USB ports in my BMW, but I think it would require a lot of engineering to pull off...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Jalli said:
Or you could just buy the BMW bluetooth module for a lot less than 900 and install it yourself..

And then, you could just plug your ipod into the AUX in port, which wouldn't give you control over the ipod, but you would get audio. (cost 0.00).

If you really want IPOD integration you could also buy the icelink from Dension, or just go to a dealer that won't rip you off for labor...

I think you make a good point, and I would love to see USB ports in my BMW, but I think it would require a lot of engineering to pull off...
I will probably look into the BMW bluetooth module, but talking to the dealer he didn't really make me aware that the was one (and he knew I wanted one). For now I'm making do with bluetooth earpiece handsfree kit.

As for the iPod for now I'll just use the aux input and wait to see how much/how easy the Denison solution will be when it becomes available for the E90.

For your last point about requiring a lot of engineering for the USB, I would strongly disagree. Once you have iDrive, you already have an onboard computer with dispaly and user interface and USB is well known technology. I do not think it would take that much more to offer USB (or other type of input) ports for adding on peripherals.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
8,650 Posts
USB is the way to go. Others are already doing this. BMW does not always lead, especially when it comes to entertainment and electronic systems. :(
 

·
Freude am Fahren
Joined
·
19,692 Posts
chuck92103 said:
USB is the way to go. Others are already doing this. BMW does not always lead, especially when it comes to entertainment and electronic systems. :(
actually bmw has consistently lead - first with iPod integration, first with satnav across every range, first with Bluetooth -just to name a few off the top of my head.

A thought: a usb card reader would require BMW to develop an interface for a music player, with the iPod interface being the bar they would have to meet. Since the iPod has 80% of the market right now, and BMW sees lots of synergy with Apple, that´s probably not the direction they would go.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
8,650 Posts
Jspira said:
actually bmw has consistently lead - first with iPod integration, first with satnav across every range, first with Bluetooth -just to name a few off the top of my head.

A thought: a usb card reader would require BMW to develop an interface for a music player, with the iPod interface being the bar they would have to meet. Since the iPod has 80% of the market right now, and BMW sees lots of synergy with Apple, that***180;s probably not the direction they would go.
Well I should have been more clear. BMW is first on a lot of things. But execution is lacking.

JSpira, I know you mean well, but sometimes you sound like a BMW commerical. Drinking too much of the KoolAid there bro.
 

·
Feverish Fanatic
Joined
·
149 Posts
A lot of Japanese cars have additional power plugs. Even the G35 will have a CF slot and a hard drive - but this is probably used to supplement the MP3 audio system, and not a way for the user to introduce their own programs into the navigation system.

However, it will take a radical redesign and rethinking for BMW to offer additional peripheral support via USB.

First, having iDrive doesn't mean you have a full computer running a full operating system on the back-end. The computer will need to be running a full operating system (which it may - I believe it's running Windows CE) with a full database of drivers (which I don't believe it has right now - BMW streamlined the OS for its main task - navigation - quite a bit, and took out a lot of extra fluff). You plug a device into the car's USB, and if the car's computer doesn't have drivers for the device, it's not going to do squat. Additionally, BMW isn't in the computer business and don't want the support headaches - when your iDrive bluescreens because of poorly written drivers or an incompatible device that you plugged in, it's unlikely that your local dealership's service dept is currently equipped to deal with this.

Second, there will need to be an industry standard - in software and user interface. Sure, the hardware (electrical interface) is standardized via USB, but there must be a common and published driver architecture for peripheral manufacturers so they can write drivers. These drivers won't be standard Windows CE drivers. BMW has a non-standard user interface (iDrive knob and a screen at a non-standard resolution), and this means that drivers will need to take this into account. The user interface must be unique to BMW.

Due to all these factors, a lot more work must be done on the part of BMW and peripheral manufacturers before you can hot-plug any USB device into a car and it'll simply "work" like the PC world. It'll be the next generation of iDrive before we can plug in a mobile phone, a Bluetooth stick, or a microphone via USB and have it work to its full potential with the car.

Now, having said that, a supplementary hard drive or a memory card reader that works in tandem with the built-in MP3 player should be entirely possible, and relatively easy to do. BMW can simply include 1 extra driver from the Windows CE driver database, and there's no need for a new user-interface for every device - simply a file browser and a revised media player.

Something like this: http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20060724-7339.html
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
Top