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Directus aftermarket stereo shows smartphone interface

This aftermarket infotainment system gives OEMs a run for their money by using MirrorLink technology to integrate smartphone social media and entertainment apps.

The Directus Prodigy One menu screen.
Directus previously released its Prodigy One aftermarket stereo, which hints at the interface direction of the Pro unit. Directus

At the 2011 SEMA Show, Directus debuted an aftermarket infotainment system that uses MirrorLink technology to integrate smartphone social media and entertainment applications.

The Directus Prodigy One Pro is based on the Android platform and uses MirrorLink technology to bring in approved mobile applications from paired smartphones, such as iPhone and Android devices. Directus' Redfly app controls which applications can be mirrored on the Prodigy One Pro, so you'll probably be able to access Pandora or iHeartRadio with its touch screen, but don't expect to play Angry Birds.

However, the standard features of the Prodigy One Pro are fairly robust even without the Internet music apps. The head unit includes full Internet browsing capability (using a phone or USB data connection), provides a native navigation app powered by Navteq, and an app that reads text messages out loud and lets you reply using voice commands, according to an article in CE Outlook. The system also includes the Match Local app, which provides geo-location sensitive promotional coupons while you're driving.

Some aftermarket audio systems turn a smartphone into the infotainment system, but so far Directus' Prodigy One Pro is the only head unit to integrate MirrorLink technology, winning it a Popular Mechanics Editor's Choice Award. Several manufacturers, including GM and BMW, use MirrorLink technology in their OEM infotainment systems, but Toyota is the only auto maker to allow true smartphone mirroring on their displays, and only in European vehicles.