How Is In-Car Connectivity Keeping the Family Productive?

Traveling with the whole family can be challenging at times. Simply keeping everyone amused can seem impossible, let alone keeping everybody productive. However, in-car connectivity is the latest trend in automotive technology that's keeping everyone in the car both entertained and productive. Here is just some of the latest technology available that's helping out during the commute:

In-Car Connectivity Tip #1: Infotainment Systems

Having a central hub that takes care of all your entertainment, navigation, and in-car connectivity needs is now becoming a high priority on many families' lists when shopping for a new car. In-car infotainment systems provide a platform to keep you connected to the outside world in your drive time and can be a useful tool for keeping the kids productive rather than a distraction in the car. Apart from playing music and providing navigation assistance, some systems will allow you to connect any Bluetooth-compatible device to access music, contact information, phone apps, and some Internet information through the car's system. These features can be useful for keeping the kids amused.

In-Car Connectivity Tip #2: Smart Radio

Some car infotainment systems allow you to connect to Internet radio stations such as Pandora and Stitcher. Stitcher Internet radio provides a wealth of entertainment, news, and educational radio shows and podcasts that can be perfect to use as research for school projects and education in general. You can choose from a range of different categories from society and culture, education, news and politics, science and medicine, technology, sports, and plenty more. There are literally thousands of radio shows and podcasts that you can stream through your car's infotainment system.

Say, for example, you're heading back from spending the weekend with family over the Thanksgiving break. It's back to school for the kids, and they've got some special assignments due when they head back. The oldest needs some in-depth information on the Civil Rights movement, and the youngest is looking to find out a bit more about algebra. You flick through your favorite Internet radio station to find a podcast on the Civil Rights movement from the Stuff You Missed in History show and the perfect piece of information on algebra from the Math Dude show. You can see a couple of A-plus students completing their assignments and getting them in on time.

In-Car Connectivity Tip #3: Rear Entertainment

Sometimes no matter how hard you try, you can never seem to please everybody. However, the latest in rear entertainment systems is all about doing exactly that. State-of-the-art entertainment systems provide multiple DVD players and LCD monitors with wireless technology integrated, meaning that everyone can watch his or her own movies. There's no noise interference, as wireless headphones are usually provided for each DVD player, and so are remotes — meaning you can control the players from the front seats for the little ones. Want your kids to learn while you travel? Bring along a selection of documentaries on your next trip, and you'll have them amused for hours while they learn about the wonders of science and nature.

In-Car Connectivity Tip #4: Power-Up Options

Car manufacturers are now looking to offer as many options as possible when it comes to staying connected with everyday life. AUX video and audio, USB and 120V household mains power outlets — while not new technology — are now being squeezed into every nook and cranny in the car these days, to ensure that you have all your bases covered when it comes to keeping the family entertained and productive in the car. You can charge or connect just about any electronic device you can think of while on the road. Whether it be connecting your iPod with an AUX cord or your BlackBerry with a USB, or even safely charging sensitive equipment like laptop computers via a 120V household power outlet, the modern well-equipped vehicle will have everything to suit your needs. Now there's no excuse for not handing in those important work documents or the kids' school assignments. Wherever you decide to head to on your next adventure, the trusty laptop can be fired up in an instant and you'll never run out of charge.

In-car connectivity is all about improving your drive time and making it more productive. Traveling with the whole family doesn't have to be the huge chore that it once was. Having the convenience of being able to use your electronic devices while in the car as well as having access to educational radio programs is not only an easy way to keep everybody amused, it's also a vital tool in turning normally dormant drive time into hours of productivity.