There's a new product on the market that will turn your iPad into your car's entertainment system. It's a case you can hang on the back of the driver's seat, or passenger seat, into which you can slide your iPad and play movies, TV shows, etc. for the little ones in the backseat. If you were duct taping your iPad onto the back of your headrest previously, you can now be a little more classy about it and use this handy dandy CinemaSeat device made by Griffin. This thing may also save you money if you're looking for a new car with TVs. No need! If you've got an iPad and the CinemaSeat, you're good to go.
But I don't know ... do we really need TVs in the car?
As a kid my family took road trips. It was 2 hours to grandma's, 6 hours to the beach, 3 hours to Uncle Tom's house, 3 hours to Busch Gardens ... we packed up the family wagon many times each year and headed out onto the great open road. Well, most of the trips involved I-95, but there's still some romanticism on the experience when I look back.
We didn't have TVs in cars when I was a youngster. We had the window. I remember staring out the glass, covered in fingerprints and what was probably a little bit of grape jelly, and daydreaming. I don't recall feeling bored, or anxious ... I remember reading the town names on the signs (Fern Cliff was my favorite) and thinking about what it would be like to live there.
I remember looking at cars and the people inside, and waving. I remember talking to my sisters and parents, I remember looking at books and playing some game that involved stamps, which was sort of like Bingo for spotting things along the road. Like toll booths, a license plate from a non-boarding state ("mom? is Ill-a-Noise close to us?"), and I vaguely recall the need to see a cow along the road trip, and that it was always really fun stamping the cow square for some reason.
Are TVs for the toddler set who can't yet read and need entertainment? I'm from the school of thought that we should leave TVs out of the vehicles for all ages. There's TV in the living room, maybe in the bedroom, possibly even in the bathroom at home; there's TV in malls, at the doctor's office, in jewelry stores; there's TV begging to be watched almost everywhere we go. Let the car be the final stand on the TV takeover.
What do you think about TVs in cars? Necessary, unnecessary, or necessary evil?
Photo via griffintechnology.com