Turn an iPhone into an in-dash stereo

For many of us, our smartphone is already our mobile stereo. So why not make it super simple to use it as the centerpiece of your car’s sound system too? That’s what the makers of the Devium Dash, a kit you install in your car that makes your iPhone or iPod touch fit right in your car’s dash, are aiming for.
The Devium Dash is a 4-inch-by-7-inch unit that is installed the same way as an in-dash GPS unit, but it replaces your whole stereo.  It’s a pretty plain design, with a slot to pop in an iPhone or an iPod touch and scroll knob. Founder Jeff Lizer says other smartphones will fit eventually too, but he started off with the original design for the iPhone(s AAPL) because he “had to focus on a single product to get this right.”
The product’s information page says that your iPhone will fit with or without the rubber bumper that many people use. And we shouldn’t fret if Apple changes the body style for its next iPhone, he writes: “I know the iPhone ‘5’ may be released this summer and if its dimensions are similar to the current iPhones then it will work without purchasing a new faceplate. If the new iPhone varies too much, a new faceplate will be developed and released as soon as possible.”
Other interesting specs, according to the official site for Devium Dash:

  • Has 50 watts per channel and subwoofer output
  • Will allow video to be connected to an external monitor
  • Lets you listen to radio stations through a streaming radio app like IHeartRadio or TuneIn
  • App will let users pick their top car-related apps to stay on the device’s screen while in the Devium Dash
  • Eventually will include an app that lets iPhone owners make phone calls in landscape mode
  • If you get a new phone you can get a new faceplate

Right now, Devium Dash is a Kickstarter project and is a little under halfway to its $45,000 funding goal. The company seems confident they’ll meet the goal and start producing units by July — the price will be $300 at retail. Those who cough up $250 now will get a unit when they start shipping, according to an announcement made Monday.
Speaking from experience, it’s amazing how out-of-date even a pretty nice two-year-old car’s stereo can be. It has a CD player and a digital interface, but all I really want to do is listen to my iTunes playlists anyway. My car did come with a 30-pin connector inside the middle console that lets you plug in an iPhone or iPod and control the device through the car’s dashboard. But the car’s frustrating interface uses buttons you click and a wheel you scroll, which is a pain when you’re used to touchscreen tapping or scrolling when selecting your music.