Apple Hardware Prototypes: Four Radical New Concepts Revealed

JonPhillips's picture

Apple Hardware Prototypes: Four Radical New Concepts Revealed

iCar

 

Sleek on the outside, clever on the inside, the Audi-Apple iCar is TT-terrific.

 

iCar Audi TT coupe

Click to enlarge

 

You knew it had to happen. In a world where Apple’s industriousness compels us to envision an “i” preceding everything of material value, we cannot move forward without first considering an iCar. In late August, bloggers began reporting that Apple and Volkswagen were working on a partnership, so we fast-tracked our iCar concept for a grand unveiling in this month’s issue. You were expecting an Apple-fied VW Beetle or Jetta? Sorry, we don’t see it happening. The Beetle is too femme, and the Jetta, well... We look deep into its headlights and find no soul.

 

iCar Audi TT Coupe

Click to enlarge

 

So Volkswagen must turn to its Audi brand to launch the iCar, tapping the TT Coupe, which made an almost Apple-like design statement of its own when it launched in 1998. The iCar concept retains all the lines of the latest TT, but adds some coy exterior features that leave no ambiguity about Audi’s gene-splicing experiments with Apple DNA. The body, wheels, and brake calipers are painted iPod white, while the side skirts and front splitter are clad in iPod chrome. The TT’s side mirrors are simplified into half-spheres, giving this one-off design study an extra touch of round-edged-ness and symmetry. And because we’ve always wanted to see the G5 grille protecting a car’s radiator, we did exactly what you’ve been thinking about doing since 2003.

 

Form always follows function in the world of iDesign, so when folks pay the extra $3,800 for the iCar option package, they also get cockpit controls that broadcast “I am the car of the future!” to anyone lucky enough to slide into the leather front seat.

 

iCar. This is it. We can now move forward in the growing world of iDesign with closure, confidence, and peace of mind.

 

idrive system interior of icar

Click to enlarge

 

The iCar cockpit redefines how we interface with traditional automotive controls. The tach/speedo cluster is an LCD that can be customized using the center console’s Settings menu. Whether you want numerical readouts or a traditional analog look and feel, the choice is yours, with skins and color options galore. The speedo here is set to display a large number for whatever 10 mph speed threshold you’ve just passed. The orange line is a visual of your current speed, while the red line is your own user-defined nanny marker—when orange passes red, you know you’ve surpassed your comfort limit.

 

The steering wheel features two scrollwheels so you can thumb through menu choices without using the touchscreen in the center console. There’s also an iSight located in the steering wheel hub, so that your iChat AV buddies can see you during calls on the road. (Wireless data networks of the future will make all this happen!) To help eliminate accidents caused by iChat AV convos, your friends can see what you see when you’re driving (notice the inset of your road view on the center display). This way, when you’re trying make a left-hand turn in rush-hour traffic, they’ll see what you’re doing and shut the heck up.

 

Controls for music, driving directions, communication, and climate are all accessed via the center touchscreen. iPhones and iPods nestle snugly in their very own dock. Once you experience this state-of-the-art UI, you’ll never be able to drive old-school again.

 

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indonica Hamdani

how amazing. im getting one for suuuure
but i thinkit would be better if the shape was a little rectangle than a circle. It looks liek its easy to slip out of your hands and it looks lieka little powder compact....Im still getting one though haha

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Anonymous Apple Fan

The Squidget is the absolute coolest thing I have ever seen. MacLife, I saw this in your magazine and went straight to the web. The 'spaz lightning' is the really innovative part. You should call it iPaging...

Anyway, the push songs is a good idea, but by using a mini-jack to mini-jack cable and the Line-in port on a computer, you could just record it in Audacity/GarageBand and not have to pay.

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Anonymous

do you have to have a squidget to communicate with some1 who has a squidget???

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Anonymous

tha squid get is hell gay.

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Michael

I would prefer to see the iCar implemented in a Jetta or Beatle.

Jetta has a cool design and Beatle has the awesome colors like the original Powerbooks and iMacs.

Also being a lower end vehicle would make them more affordable and thus marketable.

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Anonymous

when does this come out?

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Anonymous

the squidget looks soooo cool! i'd def. buy one. i'd also buy the ieye. but for the i car it would be not so cool they definitly should partner with bmw or Ferrari not audi!

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Anonymous

the iCar needs more cupholders.
which bring me to my next point: must be waterproof and very easy to clean.

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Personsen

I want one so bad, you guys should send the idea to apple and they might make it. A LOT of people will buy them, it looks so cool!
:(

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Anonymous

You may have touched on something with the iEye. Apple should definitely look into the digital camera market; both still and video. An Apple camera would do for photography and videography what the iPod did for digital music and the iPhone is doing for smartphones/communications/PDAs.

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inspired

The icar would become the most stolen car in America

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Crtaylor

I would really like to buy this camera if it ever comes out! It just looks plain awesome, and i love Apple!

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Anonymous

I am not sure if Apple would ever make mats with their logo to put your dirty shoes on.

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alpha

I think as long as you were wearing their shoes (not the nike ones) they'd be ok.

http://redlightrunner.stores.yahoo.net/vinsixcolaps.html

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kim krause

doesn't anyone remember the first icar...it was a white smart with a built in ipod cradle.in fact smart was the first car manufacturer to offer an ipod kit over 3 years ago.i have one in my smart cabrio and even the newest ipods still fit in the cradle. sad actually that this little car was so ahead of its time yet still isn't totally accepted as a real car. maybe when oil hops over the 100 buck mark people might wake up.....

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Anonymous

What's with the SONY Ads? Is this some Synergy thing... Mac/Life is about Apple, Apple is Steve Jobs, Steve Jobs sits on the Board for Disney, Disney Uses Blu-Ray, Blu-Ray is SONY, therefore sony advertises in Mac/Life.

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Anonymous

NO, apple and sony are completely different companies competing in both different and the same fields. you cannot compare apple and sony like that. What if steve jobs passed away, he would no longer be on the board of directors for disney and therefore the relationship you made with apple and sony would be cut off.

yes i believe that apple and sony have some relation but i believe the one you made is not the appropriate one.

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JonPhillips

Love the theory! (Seriously, I do...) Mind if I put this in the letters section of the magazine?

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Omer Zach

I would sell my soul for an iCar.

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:oetze

then you must call 666 66 666 6 and ask for S. Atan :)

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Anonymous

There are some very creative ideas in this intentionally over-the-top feature... for instance, having a "distress" button on GPS-enabled phones that calls the police and sends your GPS coordinates. If only police departments had the ability to respond quickly and find you by GPS- my guess is that if officers want GPS, they have to buy it on their own.

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Anonymous

Most large departments do have GPS. I am an Officer in a major city and we have a really good GPS system on our in-car Panasonic Toughbooks (I'm exclusively Apple at home). I think it would be a great tool to add to phones as we usually have to use triangulation methods through the carrier. It would make it a lot easier if we could just go to the GPS coordinates, especially if once activated, the phone was tracked until reset.

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Michael Dunlop

NO! Apple needs to partner with BMW to make the iCar! after all they do have iDrive in there cars...

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Crtaylor

Audi should have the iCar, in my opinion. They are already very luxurious as it is. Therefore, it would be the ultimate marriage between a cool car and an Apple computer. The idea of putting this in a Beatle would just be too cheesy. :[

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Anonymous

Yep, iDrive is just begging for an Apple-like interface

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Anonymous

I can't wait to buy that Squidget one day - definitely the Burberry one.

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