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Pioneer Reaches for the Cloud

Network connected receiver features include Pandora, Harman’s Aha Radio, HD Radio

Pioneer AVIC-8000NEX

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Here at CES, Pioneer is showcasing a new user interface controlling a combination of features with connected services. Five receivers are featured in the NEX — Networked Entertainment eXperience.

Consumers want to connect their smartphone to the car, and the five NEX models, four navigation and one audio/video receiver, are designed to accommodate smartphone use. Along with NEX connectivity and the enhanced user interface, the new models also feature a 7-inch screen.

The next generation of network connected in-dash receivers bridges the gap between smartphone-tethered products like AppRadio and traditional multimedia products like navigation and DVD receivers, according to Ted Cardenas, vice president of marketing for the Car Electronics Division of Pioneer Electronics USA. “By leveraging the connectivity of the smartphone, we are able to augment and update many of the built-in features with dynamic cloud-based content.”

Probably the most significant feature is AppRadio Mode, which allows Android and iPhone users the ability to access and control apps from the touchscreen display when connected to a smartphone. Additional features include iDatalink Maestro support, which enables consumers to retain many of the original features found or tied with the stock radio, Siri Eyes Free mode, Bluetooth, HD Radio technology including Artist Experience and dual camera input. The receivers are SiriusXM-ready with a separate tuner.

All NEX receivers allow users to create Pandora radio stations on connected smartphones and control Harman’s Aha Radio’s smartphone app.

The receivers will be available in February. They list starting at $700 and go up to $1,400.