Control your iPod like a Jedi with Monster iMotion

The Monster iMotion CarPlay allows a user to control an iPod with a wave of the hand.

The Monster iMotion CarPlay allows users to control their iPod with a wave of the hand.
The Monster iMotion CarPlay allows users to control their iPod with a wave of the hand. Antuan Goodwin/CNET

The Monster iMotion CarPlay 3000 connects to an iPod or iPhone via its dock connector, providing power through a 12-volt car charger and sending line-level audio through a 3.5mm patch cable to the host vehicle's auxiliary input. However, the iMotion's most interesting feature is the way it enables the user to control the connected iPod by waving a hand near it.

Waving a hand or finger in front of the iMotion's sensors triggers the iPod control.
Waving a hand or finger in front of the iMotion's sensors triggers the iPod control. Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Placing a hand in front of the sensor lets you toggle between play and pause. Swiping a hand from left to right in front of the device causes the attached iPod to skip forward. Swiping the other direction triggers a backward skip. Calmly stating that "these are not the Droids you want" as you do this has no effect whatsoever.

The controls are quite intuitive--enough so that we were able to figure everything out without an instruction manual. With a bit of practice, we were able to skip through tracks as fast as the attached iPod would let us with effortless and casual hand waves, showing off for passengers and--most importantly--keeping our eyes on the road.

Of course, how well the iMotion works depends on a few factors, the most important being your vehicle's 12-volt outlet placement. If the outlet is tucked too far away, such as in the center console or deep in a center stack pocket, the device will be difficult to reach. If the outlet is located in an area that gets much direct sunlight, then passing shadows of trees could create false positive inputs, causing your music to skip around or stutter through play and pause cycles.

Drivers of manual transmissions should also beware, because if the iMotion is placed too close to the shifter, then you could trigger false positives as you row through the gears. The ideal location seems to be a shaded location near the base of the center stack, where it can be easily reached for hand swipes, yet is out of the way enough to not be frustrating. Since most of us can't move our cars' 12-volt outlets, you'll want to take a long look before you buy.

Play

However, before you have to deal with placement or practicing hand movements, you'll have to deal with the price tag--this is a Monster product after all. The iMotion CarPlay 3000 attempts to justify its $120 MSRP with a chrome-finished dock connector and a 1-meter gold-plated audio connection that stores inside of the 12-volt connector's body.

The iMotion is a well-made product, but it's still a bit pricey for what's ostensibly a car charger and patch cable. If the novelty of Jedi-mind-tricking your iPod is enough to get past the sticker shock, the Monster iMotion CarPlay 3000 is currently available wherever Monster products are sold.

 

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