Cobra Electronics has announced a smart charger called the Cobra JoyRide, which it demonstrated at CES 2012. See a video of our interview below.
The Cobra JoyRide plugs into your cigarette lighter (a.k.a. UL standard 2089 receptacle) and provides a USB interface to an Android phone for charging and device control.
You can set the JoyRide to send commands to the phone when it is plugged in, and separate commands for when the big snake button (seen in the demo) is pressed once or twice. For instance, when you plug the phone in the car, you might want Wi-fi turned off, Bluetooth on, and the Maps app started. The button could play a particular playlist or call home.
The device and app should be available in the second quarter. The JoyRide accessory will cost $39 and the app will be free. Because the app uses the Android Open Accessory Platform to trigger events in the phone and this framework has no equivalent in iOS, it is not available for the iPhone.