The latest debut of dubiously useful tech from 2022’s COVID-condensed CES is a gigantic 8K car TV that can and will block your rear-view mirror. After bragging about its 150 million Fire TV units sold, Amazon announced an entertainment partnership with BMW’s new Theatre Screen — a 31-inch, 32:9 aspect ratio smart TV perfect for 4K streaming, gaming, and creating massive blind spots. Luxury BMW owners can enjoy one of the biggest in-car entertainment experiences available at their own risk. Dr. Ian Malcolm would be proud! Let’s get another look at this thing.
Those road perils aside, Amazon’s more modest Fire TV announcements sound safer. Smaller, more reasonable Fire TVs will be featured in select new auto models this year — a boon for parents weary of toy throwing and “Are we there yet?” Their basic premise is that you or your Ladybug and Cat Noir–addicted tykes can start streaming an episode or movie at home and then hop into the passenger seat and pick it up posthaste on the way to their annoying cousins’ house out of state. Users will need a stable Wi-Fi connection but will be able to download titles and load them on the go for trips where it gets spotty. Some cars will have two screens and the option to sync headphones separately for each. The gadget also integrates with other Alexa devices, like your Ring doorbell, just in case you neglected to strap in a toddler and he’s actually eating dirt in the front yard. With Encanto on, you might not have noticed! Back-seat peace is a double-edged sword.
So far, the Fire TVs are rolling out in new Stellantis SUV and minivan models like Jeep Wagoneer, Grand Wagoneer, Grand Cherokee, and Chrysler Pacifica, but Alexa’s no stranger to cars. Some models let you tell her to pay for gas (though you still have to hop out and pump). Jury’s out on when she’ll get a license to drive or be able to beam a rear-view feed into drivers’ brains, but we assume those innovations are rolling in.