LAS VEGAS--Pioneer unveiled the latest addition to its AVIC line of in-dash navigation solutions and its first Pandora Internet radio-enabled car stereo, the AVIC-X920BT, during its CES 2010 press conference.
One of the most notable changes to the AVIC's software is Pandora Link, which adds the ability to stream audio and display metadata from the Pandora Internet Radio app on a connected iPhone with a 3G connection. Users are also given access to album artwork and controls such as skip track, thumbs up and down, bookmarks, and station changes from the X920BT's touch-screen interface.
The X920BT bumps the AVIC-X chassis' screen size to 6.1 inches with a WXGA resolution and a new touch interface. Features such as voice recognition, Bluetooth hands-free calling/audio streaming, and USB connectivity for iPhone/iPod carry over from our current Editors' Choice title holder, the flagship, as do an updated version of Pioneer's ECO routing and fuel cost monitoring function.
New to the AVIC-X series is compatibility with Pioneer's AVIC Feeds iPhone app for wireless transfer of POIs and routes via Bluetooth.
Finally, there's a new interface throughout that makes turn-by-turn navigation and search of music libraries easier. A feature called MusicSphere interfaces with an iTunes plug-in that analyzes music files and creates specialized mood-based playlists--for example, gloomy, bright, or energetic--and presents up to 40 of these playlists in an animated 3D sphere interface.
Pioneer claims this will provide quick access to the user's music, but we maintain that it's hard to beat an old-fashioned fast-scrolling list. We'll wait until we get a hands-on before we pass judgment.
The AVIC-X920BT will be available in 2010 with an expected suggested retail price of $1,200.