Several automakers have shown concepts that use Apple's iPad device as a means for in-car entertainment or navigation, but the folks at Sound Man Car Audio may have them beat: they've already managed to install a new iPad 2 device into the dashboard of a Ford F-150.
The California-based installer was one of the first to install the original iPad into a vehicle's dashboard last year, when it embedded Apple's multimedia device into the dashboard of a Toyota Tacoma last year. Since then, the company has apparently refined the process. Instead of modifying the existing dash structure and trim, Sound Man now crafts a custom fiberglass enclosure for the device, along with a sleeve that allows the device to easily be connected or removed on the fly.
Interestingly, Sound Man's install takes full advantage of the iPad New capabilities, especially when it comes to multimedia messaging. iPad 2 models receive a front-facing camera, which allows users to video conference with one another via Apple's FaceTime app. The install appears to retain that function, which begs the question: how long will it take before the NHTSA cracks down on in-car video messaging?
The clean, OEM-like appearance of the install, coupled with the ability to quickly remove the device and use on the go, is likely to appease the multimedia junkie who finds other infotainment systems -- like the F-150's Sync system -- lacking. Would you ever consider embedding an iPad into your car? Should automakers consider such a feature for production vehicles? Send us your thoughts and prognostications in the comments section below.
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Source: Sound Man