Nokia’s Terminal Mode promises to integrate the company’s smartphones with in-car entertainment systems, but one N8 owner wasn’t willing to wait. He hooked up the Symbian smartphone to his Mazda 6, using the N8’s video output, Bluetooth and GPS – together with some custom Qt apps – to bring the Nokia experience to his dashboard.
As far as we can tell, the original Mazda pop-up display is used, with the N8 probably connecting to the auxiliary input that would normally be saved for a reversing camera. That gets its signal from the N8’s HDMI output, while a Bluetooth connection between the phone and the standard stereo takes care of music, calls and other audio.
The custom apps can show speed on the dashboard display, although you can also flick over to Ovi Maps and take advantage of the free turn-by-turn directions; the original in-car GPS system had outdated mapping data and lacked traffic updates and speed camera warnings, all of which Nokia takes care of at no extra cost. Actually controlling the phone seems a little unsafe – it looks like you actually have to swipe at the N8’s touchscreen while driving – but given the smartphone’s peripheral support you could probably rig up a reasonable remote input device instead.