Gesture recognition and proximity sensors are promising to become major technologies for in-car interfaces, and JVC has stolen a march on the competition with the unveiling of its El Kameleon KD-AVX44. The buttonless single-DIN size stereo marks the return of the Kameleon nameplate, which first appeared in 1999 as a line of products that disguised themselves when not in use by blacking out to prevent theft. The modern iteration of the Kameleon also remains in darkness until a driver or front passenger reaches out to make a control selection whereupon the system's built-in proximity sensor detects the presence of a hand, and illuminates both the video display and the touch-screen control panel on the driver's side of the faceplate.
The KD-AVX44 comes with a 3.5-inch color display that can be used for playing DVD and DivX video formats as well as output from video iPods with the help of JVC's KS-U20 cable. Supported audio formats include CD, compressed audio codecs such as MP3 and WMA, and digital audio from USB drives and iPods, which both plug into the system's as-standard USB 2.0 port.
Look out for the stealthy EL Kameleon KD-AVX44 to hit the shelves in March with a price tag of around $549.95, with an extra $50 for the KS-U20 iPod video adapter.