DashDAQ is easy to miss at a big show like SEMA, it's not covered in chrome or sporting a big turbocharger, but this little device may have been one of the biggest product introductions last week. So, what's the big deal?
DashDAQ, by Drew Technologies, can plug into the OBD2 port under your dash like many other scanners and diagnostic tools available elsewhere, but DashDAQ is different. It has a 640 X 272 pixel display screen and the full color, high contrast display can show you just about anything a programmer can imagine because the DashDAQ is really a handheld computer running Linux.
If you want to get technical, it runs a 200MHz ARM (Advanced RISC Machine) 32 bit processor with 64MB of RAM. An expansion slot allows up to 8GB of storage. It can also connect to a USB port and with options, it connects using Bluetooth, 802.11b/g wireless or cellular modem. Like I said, it's a computer. But, you still ask, what's the big deal?
The deal is that unlike other closed systems where you download updates when the manufacturer makes them available, IF they make them available, the DashDAQ is an open platform with developer tools so you can write your own applications. Think about that. What kinds of applications? How about:
And that is just a partial list for starters, whatever the programmer can imagine and configure, the DashDAQ can do. Talk about expandability! Currently, companies sell devices that perform one or two of those functions and that's it, the DashDAQ can conceivably do them all and many more.
There have been a few companies that take maximum advantage of the open platform idea to expand their product's capabilities and gain a loyal customer base, the LEGO MindStorms robot kits come to mind as a prime example, where some buyers immediately think about what the device could do but doesn't yet. The DashDAQ could be the equivalent product in the automotive arena. Hmm ...
The DashDAQ was introduced at SEMA October 31st and will be available early in 2007. Price is expected to be $595. Kinda gets the wheels turning, doesn't it?
Link: Drew Technologies
See large display image after the jump: