updated 10:10 am EST, Thu February 11, 2010
Volvo XC70 to use Sprint Overdrive, 500GB drive
Volvo at the Chicago Auto show this morning said it would give its XC70 crossover wagon a unique rear seat entertainment system. The RSEi-500 will be a full-fledged touchscreen computer based on Windows XP but will have its own custom interface for media navigation, including cover art and details for music and DVDs. It should also have an always-on Internet connection and will uniquely run on a Sprint Overdrive that can share a 3G or WiMAX connection over to both the RSEi-500 and to other devices in the car through Wi-Fi.
The system has its own 500GB hard drive and will link to an unlimited music download service as well as video exploration, but Volvo promises support for outside devices as well. A USB interface should give it access to devices that register as external storage, and an aux input will let it play audio and video from most common portable devices, including iPods and Zunes. The short-range Wi-Fi access extends resources further by supporting network-attached storage when it appears.
Volvo is hinging some of its plans on reactions to the RSEi-500 at the Chicago event but so far plans to make it an option for multiple cars by this June.