• Nov 6th 2006 at 8:03PM
  • 16
We're kicking ourselves because we didn't get a chance to play with the DashDaq onboard computer at SEMA last week where it won a Best New International Product Award. Actually, to call it an onboard computer is generalizing its capabilities a bit too much. The small handhelt unit plugs into your vehicle's OBD-II port and can be used for data acquisition, diagnostics, as an extra set of gauges and as a good old fashioned handheld computer. The secret to this little guy's high must-have quotient is the fact it runs on Linux and comes with tools to help you write custom software for it. So besides what it can do out of the box, a clever programmer can have it be a GPS sat nav unit, multimedia player, or even an actual onboard computer. The fact that its maker, Drew Technologies, is keeping the DashDaq open source gives it a huge advantage over other devices, most notably high-end sat nav systems, that come with similar features but can never be modified to do more.

Aside from the flexible software, the actual hardware is impressive too, particularly the 4-inch TFT LCD screen that displays 16.7 million colors (that's all of 'em) and features 480 x 272 resolution. Follow the jump for shots of how good the screen images look, as they are completely unaltered from what you would see on the actual unit. You can also check out this movie of the unit in action and DT's webpage where computer nerds who are smarter than us will appreciate all the things this little grey box can do. Drew Technologies is hoping to have the DashDaq on the market by early 2007 at an MSRP of $595, which, with a little help from a thriving open source programming community creating killer applications, could have the big boys in the satellite navigation and data acquisition markets asking for directions.

[Source: Drew Technologies]


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.

    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Years Ago
      I don't think the GPS nav companies will be too threatened by this. You can get a low end GPS out of the box ready to go for about the same price. And if you want the maps don't you have to buy them from another company on this product?

      It does seem like a nice product for car performance guys or people that just like to program stuff. Very flexible and programmers would probably make it do all kind so of cool stuff.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Finally a Product i could buy that could multitask in a lot of different ways for us Car Modding freaks..

      Rakesh Chugh
      • 8 Years Ago
      Frankly, I'm speechless...but even moreso, I'm delighted because such technology will make it senseless to spend over $30,000 on a car because so many seemingly "high end" features may be available cheaply from aftermarket suppliers...Just wait til a company like Google bites into a slice of this pie...
      • 8 Years Ago
      It already has CAN and ISO9141 support thru the OBD2 interface, which will let you talk to most new vehicles. If you want to put GPS on it, just add a USB GPS adapter and your choice of the open source GPS software in the linux community or a commercial package.
      • 8 Years Ago
      "DashDaq throws open source in face of high-end sat navs" ? Huh?

      Sat Navs are GPS based. This is just a linux based display. There is no GPS involved.

      So it is a $600 screen, then you have to pay more for a Drew Tech OBD interface.

      Then you have to pay for the GPS device too :)
      • 8 Years Ago
      "I have nothing against linux and open source operating systems and programs and use them every day, I would just be a bit more weary hooking them up to my car."

      Right, everyone knows MS Windows is much more secure---no worries there;-) LOL!
      • 8 Years Ago
      I would have to throw my G-Tech pro away if I buy that.
      • 8 Years Ago
      #10, Save yourself some money and get a Pioneer 9850 CD/MP3 Player.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Finally! A product that doesn't look awful, that can monitor OBDII, clear trouble codes, and datalog sensors. Now if only the open source comunity could make it talk to my Alpine W200, and if they could please write installers for their software then that would be perfect. Hear me open source if you can spend months writing these great apps then spend the extra 1/2 hour to write an installer so people actually use them.
      • 8 Years Ago
      waste of $ and technology
      the answer to a question noone asked

      POS device to ruin my car
      • 8 Years Ago
      Seems like a pretty cool device to me... For those of us that modify our cars, the little display would be very useful for displaying and datalogging things such as A/F ratio, air temp, coolant temp, MAF voltage, boost pressure, EGT, ignition timing, TPS, oil pressure, blah blah. While you can do all this on a laptop... mounting a laptop in a sturdy location in a car and always having it is a bit cumbersome :) This device could also take the place of numerous gauges too which would really clean things up.
      • 8 Years Ago
      The only problem I see with this being open source is someone downloading a virus to it, that screws with the cars electronics causes a crash and the law suits starting. I mean wouldn't that be one of the reasons big companies keep their boxes closed?

      I have nothing against linux and open source operating systems and programs and use them every day, I would just be a bit more weary hooking them up to my car.
    • Load More Comments