Once, portable GPS units were the hot items to have affixed to one’s windshield. That functionality was largely built into smartphones, but many cars still feature a center console embedded into the dashboard that can display a range of information.
Moving that console up to the dash and opening it up is a goal of Zhor, a chunky 7″ touchscreen that can handle a range of in-vehicle tasks. These include projecting your smartphone screen to its bigger display, receiving text messages, video chatting,, streaming audio, telematics (where supported by the vehicle) , showing feeds of rear0view and dash cameras, and, of course, GPS. Zhor must be installed in the vehicle. The makers of Zhor hope to raise an ambitious $880,000 by April 27th. Its non-early bird price is $490 with expected delivery in August.
Zhor offers a lot of functionality in a functional interface, but it faces tremendous competition. Much of its functionality can be handled by mounting increasingly large phones being propped up on a windshield or is built into midrange or more expensive vehicles. Plus, bridges from smartphone ecosystem providers such as Apple (CarPlay) and Google (Android Auto) are beginning to address the need to bridge the smartphone and center console. Zhor also takes up a fair amount of dashboard space; it would be nice to be able to fold it down when not in use.