Connect My Ride

It’s been almost five years since MTV’s Pimp My Ride wrapped, bringing an end to gull-wing doors painted in all shades of metallic purple and putting a serious damper on Southern California’s headrest-mounted PlayStation industry.

In 2012, the novelty of a mobile arcade equipped with million-watt subwoofers has largely subsided. Chances are, what you’re carrying in your pocket is more technologically sophisticated than anything that can be integrated by West Coast Customs. Gadget-obsessed guys want seamless integration and intelligent design more than rims that spin.

Nowadays, some of the most elegant aftermarket upgrades can be found at your local electronics store. The ConnectPro experts at Future Shop focus on device integration — not a “pimped” ride, but “connected.” This doesn’t mean you have to forgo the chest-thumping sound system, but ConnectPro technicians have observed the dramatic improvement of premium audio options available on newer vehicles and see their niche as enhancing content and ease-of-use via the seamless integration of aftermarket tech.

Adding satellite radio and MP3 capability is a sensible jumping off point for those tired of trolling the AM/FM bands. If you find yourself fumbling with your phone during commutes, it’s probably wise (and less criminal) to invest in hands-free communication. A simple Bluetooth speaker installation can convert nearly any car into a rolling conference room or command centre. Consider a dedicated GPS navigation system for times when those roaming data charges start to outweigh your lease.

Your iDevice of choice has already supplanted most forms of personal communication, but why limit your interaction to times when you have access to both hands? ConnectPro can weave an iPod cable behind the dash, invisible to all but the most knowing eye. For a few dollars more, you can replace whatever ancient sundial your car called a centre console with a shiny new iPad. While we don’t condone trying to beat your Angry Birds high score on the DVP, it’s probably as close as you’ll come to making your cockpit feel like the Batmobile circa 1992.

If your car is more than five years old, it will almost certainly benefit from ConnectPro’s technological face-lift. While some newer American vehicles attempt to cram in as much whizz-bang as possible, the results are often hit and miss. Considering the aftermarket services now specializing in smart and stylish tech integration, you can focus on buying the car, not the gadgets, you really want.

Image courtesy of Craigyc.

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