[CES 2014] At the International Consumer Electronics Show 2014 in Las Vegas, Sony has unveiled a plethora of new products including 4K TVs, camcorders, full HD 3D TVs and much, much more. However there’s one product that it announced rather quietly, in fact it didn’t pop up on many publications’ radars until @evleaks tweeted about it. Sony launched its first ever smartphone cradle receiver which turns your smartphone into an in-dash touchscreen entertainment system for vehicles. Apart from the XSP-N1BT cradle receiver, Sony also unveiled seven new in-car entertainment systems six of which tout Bluetooth with NFC support. All models come with Sony’s new App Remote technology which transforms Android and iOS devices into supplemental music displays and head-unit controllers.
The industry’s first double-DIN smartphone cradle receiver has a clamping system that is capable of supporting a “wide range” of smartphones in the dash. The smartphone’s display will show controls for head-unit functions through App Remote, it is compatible with Bluetooth connected Android devices and USB connected iPhones. App Remote also facilitates voice operation of the head unit and smartphone. The cradle receiver offers CD, USB and tuner source functionality even if a smartphone isn’t connected, thanks to its IR remote. Smartphones placed in the cradle can be charged via a compact USB cable, Sony’s new crop of Xperia smartphones can charge wireless through a magnetic connector. The Sony smartphone cradle receiver XSP-N1BT will be available for purchase in May 2014 with a $250 price tag.