In-car entertainment turned it up another wireless notch at last week's Chicago Auto Show when Volvo showed off "the industry's first Internet connected Rear Seat Entertainment System with Windows XP, WiFi and a 500G hard drive."

Officially, it remains a test-bed study for the moment, but the idea is that you can do everything on a rear headrest touchscreen that you can do on your home computer. You can also plug your computer into the car and load the XC70's system with your own music and video to keep things quiet in the back row. While it's officially only in the 'conceptual phase,' we have it on very good authority that the system will be available in 2011 Volvo XC60 and XC70 models beginning this summer.

Follow the jump for Volvo's take on the RSEi-500 setup, and be sure to get ready for Geneva, where Volvo will reveal an XC90 with a crappy rolling chair, a cubicle and a water cooler.

[Source: Volvo]


PRESS RELEASE

Volvo XC70 a Test Bed for Industry First Touch Screen Rear Seat Entertainment System with Broadband, WiFi and 500G Hard Drive

The 2010 Volvo XC70 will be shown at the Chicago Auto Show on February 10, 2010 with the industry's first Internet connected Rear Seat Entertainment System with Windows XP, WiFi and a 500G hard drive. This innovative product, while still only in the conceptual phase, will allow customers to surf the Internet, download applications to personalize their Volvo to their lifestyle while enjoying video and unlimited music download using a digital touch screen. The RSEi-500TM will also allow customers to connect their vehicle to their home computer thus allowing video, audio and other home data content to be easily transferred to the vehicle's on board computer.

Volvo Cars of North America has partnered with Azentek Corporation and Gracenote® to explore the possibility of bringing this revolutionary product to the market. The Chicago Auto Show demonstration will optimize this leading edge new technology by leveraging the turbocharged speeds of Sprint 4G via its new OverdriveTM 3G/4G Mobile Hotspot.*

"The RSEi-500 has set a new standard for the Rear Seat Entertainment industry. This fully integrated Multimedia RSE allows customers to surf the Internet, enjoy Mobile TV and watch videos, while boasting the industry's first interactive audio library and video exploration experience enabled by Gracenote and its partners, all from the back seat of their Volvo XC70," said Jack Lawson, Product Manager at VCNA. "These technological properties are what we know appeal to the discerning electronics buyers and owners of Volvo vehicles."

Volvo Cars, in teaming with Gracenote and its partners, provides the most comprehensive in-vehicle music and video experience in the industry. Taking advantage of the broadband connection and Gracenote's comprehensive automotive and server solutions, passengers will for the first time be able to navigate their music collections by mood, and display lyrics in North America, artist biographies and reviews as music is playing. Additionally, Gracenote is powering Volvo's Music Service which allows users to explore and download as much music as they desire as part of the bundled entertainment solution. The system can also identify and retrieve information for music currently playing on the AM/FM/Satellite radio and then download those tracks directly to the entertainment system. Users can also display cover art, synopses and cast details for DVD movies, explore additional video content online and have a celebrity artist voice of choice interact with the user during the music experience.

"We are pleased to enable Volvo with the latest Gracenote technologies for music and video recognition, as well as online media exploration, recommendation, and Gracenote-powered music download services for Volvo's next generation of entertainment systems. This implementation sets an entirely new standard for an in-vehicle entertainment system and what is possible with Internet connectivity in the car," said Bill Fleck, Head of Automotive Sales, Americas at Gracenote.

RSEi-500
Feature Highlights

* Internet Connectivity
* Associate and navigate user's music library with cover art, lyrics in North America and mood attributes
* Unlimited music download service and Video exploration
* Recognize currently playing broadcast music and download those tracks
* DVD playback with cover art, synopses and cast details
* USB Drive Interface
* Email Access
* Aux AV input for external devices like videos, I-Pods, Zune Players, gaming devices, ect.
* WiFi Capability for connectivity to various other data storage devices (i.e.: Home Server)
* 500G Hard Drive
* Touch Screen

Based on customer feedback at the Chicago Auto Show, the RSEi-500 may one day find its way into a number of Volvo models. VCNA will continue to study the RSEi-500's viability and hopes to announce a firm launch date in the future.