Running on Android 6 OS Gazer VI700A-CIC multimedia interface with GPS navigation is a multimedia device that dramatically expands capabilities of the stock iDrive Professional CIC head unit installed in BMW: 1, 3, 5, 6, 7 series, X1, X3, X5, X6 manufactured from 2008 to 2011. This way you get an upmarket multimedia system with a rich feature set and significantly enhanced capabilities. Gazer interface uses the stock iDrive Professional CIC head unit of BMW cars as a screen and an audio amplifier thereby acting as a powerful computing device, a GPS navigator and a video signal converter. Importantly, the car's stock display and audio unit remain intact, while all the functions of the stock head unit operate normally.
Features and advantages
The key advantage of Gazer VI700A-CIC multimedia interface is that you can install in your car while keeping the stock head unit fully operational. The stock head unit in your BMW is maximally adapted to the sound system available in the car and to the car itself. The car stereo operates as one with the car. It is connected with other electronic systems via CAN bus and is responsible not only for audio playback but partially serves as the central node of the computer-aided car management system. It is therefore highly inadvisable to replace the stock head unit in BMW vehicles. However, with Gazer VI700A-CIC multimedia interface, you can significantly expand its functionality and turn it into a full-fledged multimedia center that will make driving experience much safer and ensure that both the driver and the passengers feel as comfortable as possible. All the stock functions, including FM radio, SD and USB playback, Bluetooth, audio settings menu and car functions customization, will remain intact and operate just as BMW intended.
It takes only one press of a button to connect Gazer VI700A-CIC multimedia interface to your vehicle's display or audio system. In addition, the driver gets several extra safety options: ability to plug in rear and front view cameras with movement trajectory mapping, Gazer surround view system with DVR and CCTV functions, stock parking assist support for the cameras or the surround view system, and plenty of other useful features.
The GPS navigation function will allow you to plot a route and to get real-time information about traffic jams when Internet connection is available. Full support of in-car screen mirroring for iPhones or Android smartphones along with touchscreen controls on the car’s display unit will offer you far more functionality than Car Play or Android Auto modes: unlimited capabilities that can only be compared to using a tablet PC or a laptop, which is completely integrated with your car. Furthermore, to make the time spent in a parked vehicle thoroughly enjoyable, one can connect two additional audio-video devices, such as a digital T2 TV tuner, a DVR, an external DVD player, and even a Play Station game console or a karaoke system.
Installation and controls
Gazer VI700A-CIC multimedia interface supports Plug&Play (Pin-to-Pin) installation and connection without damaging the vehicle's stock wiring. The interface is a standalone unit installed behind the stock display and connected to the vehicle’s audio system and CAN bus using a stock cable that runs between the display and electric wiring. The way it operates can be compared to switching between video sources in a regular TV set. Once launched, the interface simply switches the display of the stock head unit and uses it to project its own image.
If the multimedia system of your BMW has a Bluetooth function, Gazer VI700A-CIC multimedia interface can connect to iDrive Professional CIC head unit and transmit audio via Bluetooth. Meanwhile, your smartphone will continue operating in Hands free mode with the stock head unit. The multimedia interface can also be connected to the audio system using the stock AUX input. Alternatively, you can use a standalone external speaker included into Gazer VI700A-CIC standard supply package.
To control the device in BMW cars, a touch panel designed specifically for BMW head units is installed over the stock display. With touch controls, one can easily manage all the numerous functions and features of Gazer VI700A-CIC multimedia interface. Besides the touch panel, the multimedia center can be controlled with the stock joystick, touchpad or other controls provided by the manufacturer. One can also control the device using a keyboard and a mouse connected to the interface via USB port.
The vehicle’s stock button (e.g., NAVI, TEL, Voice) is used for launching the interface and switching between audio-video sources. When the vehicle is put in reverse, the display automatically switches to the rear view camera or surround view mode.
Fully functional Internet access with 3G and Wi-Fi
VI700A-CIC multimedia interface in BMW cars has built-in Wi-Fi with full support for 3G dongles that can be connected via USB port. With a 3G dongle and a valid SIM card, you can access Internet from the interface’s Android OS environment, which allows using any web browser and messenger (Skype, Viber, WeChat), various social networks (Facebook, VK, Odnoklassniki), mail clients, navigation software (Yandex.Navigator, Yandex.Traffic, Navitel.Traffic), online television, Internet radio, audio streaming services, Youtube, webcasting services, etc. All this is available without any limitations – you can use Gazer multimedia system as a tablet PC or a laptop fully integrated with your vehicle.
For more convenient account status monitoring, you can use a duplicate of your main SIM card (SIM pair) or a separate subscription package with better rates and wider 3G coverage. As you travel abroad, you can replace your SIM card with the one issued by local operators and remain online without switching to roaming.
The built-in Wi-Fi adapter will allow you to access the Internet by connecting to the nearest Wi-Fi network – a hotspot located close to your home, office, or restaurant. This will be particularly convenient when you need to quickly upload some applications and content to the multimedia system. You can also use your smartphone as a modem and connect to the Internet via its Wi-Fi network.
When connecting a 3G dongle to VI700A-CIC multimedia system in BMW cars, you can set up a Wi-Fi hotspot and share Internet access with other mobile devices or laptops available in the car using a single account and a single rate applied to the SIM card inserted into the dongle. In this case, Wi-Fi activation and connection of additional devices to the network will be done automatically whenever you start the car.
GPS navigation of your choice
You can install and use any navigation software at your discretion - Navitel (with Navitel.Traffic), Yandex.Navigator (with Yandex.Traffic), iGo, etc. - by downloading it from Google Play or by installing it directly on Gazer multimedia system. When connected to the Internet, you will be able to receive real-time information about traffic jams and other events on the road allowing you to plan your trip accordingly and choose an optimal route. A powerful GPS antenna and cutting-edge hardware ensure a stable satellite connection and accurate positioning in any conditions.
By default, the system has a preinstalled Navitel software package with Navitel.Traffic. Should you need a map of the country where you are planning to go, you can download it from Google Play by choosing from over 90 countries in Western and Eastern Europe, Central Asia and beyond. When Internet access is available, you can download the required maps without leaving the car even if you are already in another country. All downloaded maps are stored on the 32 GB SD memory card that comes with Gazer multimedia interface. This leaves the USB slot free and prevents you from accidentally disconnecting the external card reader.
Full integration with iPhone or Android smartphones
Your iPhone or Android smartphone is a personal assistant perfectly customized and adapted to your life. Therefore, you will definitely appreciate the possibility to use its apps and content in your car. VI700A-CIC multimedia interface supports both iOS and Android smartphones. It is able to mirror your phone's screen on BMW head unit display, while sound is transmitted via the vehicle's stock speakers. You can also control your smartphone using the touch panel of the in-car display. This function is available only for Android smartphones with MHL support. The smartphone can be connected with a cable (HDMI and MHL modes) or via Wi-Fi network (AirPlay and MirrorLink modes). It means that if you disconnect the cable during use, the connection will automatically switch to the wireless mode.
This way you integrate your smartphone with the car and can use all its features, settings and applications without diverting your attention from the road and thus ensuring your complete safety. In contrast to Car Play mode for iPhones or Android Auto mode for Android smartphones, connection to Gazer multimedia interface does not restrict your phone’s functionality and screen mirroring capability: you can still see your phone’s home screen with all your favorite apps installed. Gazer multimedia interface comes with a high-quality external microphone that enables you to use your voice to control the device and its features as well as Android apps installed on it.
Support of any audio and video formats
With Gazer VI700A-CIC multimedia interface installed, BMW head units can playback any audio and video files, including such popular formats as FLAC, ALAC, and MKV, as well as MP3, MP4, AVI, and many others. To ensure the smoothest possible video playback, the interface has a built-in hardware codec that supports the most popular multimedia formats and can play them back nonstop and lag-free taking up little or no CPU resources. To playback various unique formats, one can use any software codec or multimedia player compatible with OS Android 6 that can be easily downloaded from Google Play.
To connect USB drives, use an external USB port that can be placed conveniently in the glovebox. You can also use several USB drives along with a USB 3G dongle – Gazer interface supports USB hubs allowing to connect up to 4 USB devices simultaneously*, including a USB HDD.
Connecting cameras, surround view system, and parking assist
The primary reason why Gazer VI700A-CIC multimedia interface uses the stock multimedia system of your BMW car is to increase your driving safety. Therefore, Gazer interface allows connecting a rear view camera, a front view camera, Gazer surround view system and a parking assist system.
If you already have a rear view camera installed in your car, you know pretty well the advantages of using a parking assist system. You can further expand its functionality by adding a front view camera or a surround view system. Even if you do not have a rear view camera, you are bound to appreciate the level of comfort and extra safety offered by these vitally important options. When using stock cameras or original Gazer cameras or Gazer surround view systems, you will be able to see your vehicle's movement trajectory thanks to IPAS function available in Gazer VI700A-CIC multimedia interface.
Furthermore, thanks to PDC function, the information from your BMW stock parking assist system (if you have one) will be shown on the original iDrive Professional CIC display along with the image from the rear and front cameras and the surround view system. If the car does not have a stock parking assist system, you can install Gazer parking assist, and the multimedia system will treat this system as the one supplied by the manufacturer displaying the information from sensors along with video feed from the cameras or the surround view system.
Gazer surround view system deserves special attention, as it supports standard installation and can be connected to BMW head unit monitors using Gazer VI700A-CIC video interface. This system not only ensures safety and comfort during parking but also helps maneuver the car when the visibility or space is limited, e.g., when driving on a road with tall curbs, when crossing a narrow bridge, when making a U-turn or when maneuvering among small obstacles (parking posts, flower beds, bollards, etc.). Additionally, the surround view system is also a 4-channel DVR. Video feed from each of 4 cameras is recorded to a memory card in a loop. Furthermore, when the car is parked, the device switches to CCTV mode and starts recording even when someone gently touches the car body.
Connecting additional audio and video sources
Gazer VI700A-CIC multimedia interface allows connecting additional audio-video sources to BMW head units, e.g., Gazer T2 digital TV tuner for cars. Depending on the model, the tuner may have two or four independent antennas that can be discreetly mounted on the car's windshield or rear window. The antennas will ensure stable signal reception in any conditions and at any speed. Obviously, for safety reasons, only passengers sitting in the back seats will be able to watch television.
Gazer interface can also be used to connect a DVR allowing the driver to customize or view the recorded video clips on the display of the vehicle's head unit. Watching movies in your car from an external DVD or media player, enjoying your favorite Play Station games, or even singing karaoke – all this will be possible once you connect your stock stereo system to Gazer VI700A-CIC multimedia interface.
* Total current consumption cannot exceed 2000 mAh.