Online entertainment system debuts at Chicago Auto Show

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Indy Lifestyle Online

Volvo has unveiled a new family entertainment system for rear seat passengers, complete with touch screen, wifi connectivity and Windows XP.

The brand claims that the RSEi-500 is the world's first internet-connected rear-seat enterainment system and that it could revolutionize the way we travel. The system uses a digital touch screen to allow passengers to surf the internet, download apps, watch movies or download movies from the back seat of a vehicle. It was demonstrated inside a 2010 Volvo XC70 at the Chicago Auto Show on February 10, 2010.

The RSEi-500 allows users to connect to their home computer to transfer content such a multimedia onto the car's onboard systems. Content can also be downloaded and saved to the 500GB hard drive held onboard.

A partnership with music database Gracenote will also allow passengers to navigate their music collections by mood or display lyrics, artist biographies and reviews. Using the onboard highspeed internet connection, music fans can identify and retrieve information for music currently playing on the AM/FM/Satellite radio before downloading it.

"This fully integrated Multimedia RSE allows customers to surf the Internet, enjoy Mobile TV and watch videos from the back seat of their Volvo XC70," said Jack Lawson of Volvo North America. "These technological properties are what we know appeal to the discerning electronics buyers and owners of Volvo vehicles."

The company is yet to confirm which models the system will be available in, but says it will be launched in June, 2010 on "various Volvo models."

The RSEi uses a Sprint 3/4G connection to provide mobile connectivity via the highspeed WiMAX network. Volvo isn't the only carmaker showing off broadband-enabled vehicles however - mobile internet service Clear is also showing off 4G technology inside a Ford Flex vehicle. The company claims that it will offer peak mobile download speeds to vehicles of 10 Mbps, compared to a 3G average of 600 kbps - 1.4 Mbps.

The Chicago Auto Show runs through February 21.

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