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New Toyota Helps You Yell At the Kids 205

Posted by samzenpus
from the scream-better dept.
An anonymous reader writes If you're tired of yelling at the kids without the help of technology, Toyota has a van for you. From the article: "The latest version of the company's Sienna minivan has a feature called 'Driver Easy Speak.' It uses a built-in microphone to amplify a parent's voice through speakers in the back seats. Toyota says it added Easy Speak 'so parents don't have to shout to passengers in the back.' But chances are many parents will yell into the microphone anyway. And the feature only works one way, so the kids can't talk back. At least not with amplified voices. The feature is an option on the 2015 Sienna, which is being refreshed with a totally new interior. It also has an optional 'pull-down conversation mirror' that lets drivers check on kids without turning around."
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New Toyota Helps You Yell At the Kids

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  • It seems that in the US at least, the minivan is quite nearly dead. How many companies other than Chrysler are still making them for the US market at all? Not many.

    As for the "pull down mirror", that isn't even remotely new technology. Other vehicles have had those for a decade or more. But of course because America - and the American media especially - love Toyota with a great passion, we regard it as a technological marvel.
    • Re:Hmmm (Score:5, Interesting)

      by MightyYar (622222) on Monday July 21, 2014 @08:53AM (#47500129)

      Off the top of my head: Nissan, Honda, Chrysler, Toyota, Hyundai/Kia.

      I have one, and the pickup line at school/camp is almost entirely minivan or minivan "crossovers" marketed as SUVs.

      My 2008 Sienna has a "conversation mirror", so I'm not sure why the submitter seems to think they are new.

      • by darylb (10898)

        Kia killed theirs off for one year, but a brand new Sedona model has just been introduced.

        • by MightyYar (622222)

          Yeah, I lumped them together since they are the same company. Sort of like the old Plymouth/Dodge/Chrysler, Mercury/Ford, or Pontiac/Chevy/Oldsmobile minivans.

    • We have a minivan. We got it just before our first child was born 11 years ago. It was quite handy during the years when the kids required a ton of stuff for trips (stroller, seat to eat in, portable crib, ton of diapers, etc). Now it is overkill and the low mileage makes it expensive to drive on long trips. When the time comes to replace it, we're definitely getting something with better mpg.

      • Re: Minivans useful (Score:5, Informative)

        by quintessentialk (926161) on Monday July 21, 2014 @10:00AM (#47500611)

        I've rented minivans on business trips (particularly for outdoor field tests of equipment my employer develops). They work very well for our use: surprisingly large cargo capacity in a weather proof bay, flexible reconfiguration to carry either people or equipment between test sites, low floors and true fold-flat seats (compared to many of the SUVs we've rented) making loading easy, car-like handling to suit drivers without large vehicle experience; and wide availability at car rental companies both large and small.

        Now, we are talking about renting for a specific purpose for only the duration of that purpose, which is a completely different economic calculation than buying a car for daily use.Nonetheless, I've been convinced that when I do have kids (young children seem to require a frighteningly large amount of support equipment) a minivan will be the way to go. (Certainly compared to an SUV, which would offer similar features in a less convenient shape, or a small car, which lacks cargo.) Of course, this all depends on my finances at that point in time.... I'm not so well off that I can purchase vehicles arbitrarily.

        • Re: Minivans useful (Score:4, Interesting)

          by pnutjam (523990) <.gro.zciworob. .ta. .todhsals.> on Monday July 21, 2014 @10:30AM (#47500839) Homepage Journal
          The hardest part is multiple kids in car seats, even one rear facing car seat can be difficult to get into many sedans.
        • Older kids do too.

          Hockey bags/football gear/their own suitcases.

          Plus, the minivan is essentially a pickup. In the Odyssey, you can put a 4x8 sheet of plywood down flat. Works great for everything but gravel/bark/loose particles.

        • Yup. And they are built on car bodies, so they ride smoother. Typically more fuel efficent than an SUV too (maybe not one of those SUVs that looks like a hatchback on a lift kit, but a full size SUV that has similar cargo and passenger capacity will definitely get less MPG).

          They don't tow or go off road well...but a majority of pickup and SUV owners don't actually tow anything heavy or take it off road. The poor off-road ability is actually a plus for the average person--lower ride height brings increa

        • by anyGould (1295481)

          .Nonetheless, I've been convinced that when I do have kids (young children seem to require a frighteningly large amount of support equipment) a minivan will be the way to go.

          Don't buy into the hype. My kid's seven, and we're still doing fine in a 2002 four-door Echo. (They call 'em Yaris these days). And that's counting a week long camping trip this year. Far more important than Massive Cargo Space is simply a back door to get the kid in-and-out of the seat. But what we save in fuel more than pays for the odd time we need to rent a larger vehicle.

          Babies need a stroller and a diaper bag - bag goes next to kid, stroller goes in the trunk. (And after about a week you'll get one of

    • re: minivan dead? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by King_TJ (85913) on Monday July 21, 2014 @09:11AM (#47500251) Journal

      The minivan suffers a stigma in America today.... It's viewed as a vehicle for moms who need to shuttle the kids and their things around. That hurts sales because even many of the moms who squarely fit into that category don't want to feel like they're defined by that part of their life. They don't want to drive a vehicle around that tells everyone that's what their purpose is on the planet -- especially when so many families are dual-income and they'd like to look more "professional".

      It seems it's unavoidable though? As soon as enough people buy a functional alternative to avoid the stigma, they begin putting the same stigma on the alternative choice. Not that long ago, the station wagon held this distinction, and yet now -- driving a station wagon is viewed as trendy in a hipster way!

      Honestly though, I think the minivan could enjoy a resurgence in popularity if it was approached from a slightly different angle. Make it *really* easy for all of the seats to fold flat (like "push a button and they all retract into the floor" easy), and market it to the homeowners who currently shop for light trucks! I know I've owned a couple of pickups because they were so darn functional and useful for things like hauling away yard waste or picking up a furniture or appliance purchase, or just helping a buddy move. But their big downside is the lack of any protection from the weather for the cargo, while driving. For 99% of the things I ever hauled around in my truck, I could have used a minivan just as well, if it didn't have seats in the way.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Government made them difficult and expensive to buy [thetruthaboutcars.com] compared to SUV's, which were classified as trucks (hence a lower gas mileage standard).

        "Stigma" had nothing to do with it.

        • Government made them difficult and expensive to buy [thetruthaboutcars.com] compared to SUV's, which were classified as trucks (hence a lower gas mileage standard).

          "Stigma" had nothing to do with it.

          Maybe so, but there is still a stigma attached to minivans. They say, "I now live a boring suburban lifestyle". A friend of mine said as much when he bought his Honda Odyssey. He loves the Odyssey, but he knew he was no longer cool. And, to be fair, once he and his wife had kids they became just as staid and boring as their minivan suggested.

          It's cool; they're happy with their lives and love their kids and home life. But it reminded me of why I'm still single and childless. That life is unattractive t

          • Get your teenagers a mini-van with glass all around and benches. Hide a diaper full of green baby shit behind a panel somewhere. Consider it a birth control car.

            Don't give them a mini-panel van. They will have that rocking. Too much privacy.

          • A friend of mine got an Odyssey once. We were all wanting to drive it when we thought he meant the Hondy off road ATV Odyssey thing. Once we found out it was a van we threatened to take his man card away forever. They DO have a stigma even though the thing was GREAT for hauling people and stuff and we all used it between insults LOL. OTOH I had a BMW station wagon that was just as fun to drive - if not more so - than the sedan version, good decent MPG, hauled ass, AND could haul a bunch'o crap. I loved that
          • I know. I would rather they dump their kids off somewhere, drive two-seaters, and whoop it up at all the latest hot spots. Thing is, when their kids are growning up (teen age...college) they will have a much richer life than you will without those people (kids and all their friends and family) in your life. Being a parent is rather inglorious at first, in fact it is downright humiliating, but coming out of it with your kids in tow is a great life. Careful what you wish for.

      • Honestly though, I think the minivan could enjoy a resurgence in popularity if it was approached from a slightly different angle.

        Perhaps. Minivans are undeniably practical for many uses but they are hard to make sexy. Of course it doesn't help that they have ugly styling, bad fuel economy and handle like a river barge for the most part.

        Make it *really* easy for all of the seats to fold flat (like "push a button and they all retract into the floor" easy), and market it to the homeowners who currently shop for light trucks!

        The problem is how to do that economically. There are all sorts of cool things you can do if money is no object. I think you'd have more luck with them if you started with solving the styling and fuel economy problems, then work your way to fixing the handling and then get into nifty features like

      • Listen in (Score:5, Informative)

        by GlobalEcho (26240) on Monday July 21, 2014 @11:07AM (#47501161)

        Among the advantages of owning a minivan is that it becomes easy to carry your own children, plus a few of their friends. You get to know those friends, and listen to your kids' conversations with them. Often, the kids sort of forget you are there and converse "normally". You gain a window into their lives at school you otherwise would never have enjoyed.

        Sneaky trick: if you turn on the radio with the fader balanced toward the rear seats, the kids will speak louder without even realizing it.

      • by Idbar (1034346)

        TO be honest, I like the idea (and I'm a grown up man) of a minivan. I see the Sienna, and seems to have aggressive looks. But never as the SUVs.

        I'd go for the minivan if they had more aggressive/sporty looks. As you said, it's the stigma it's for moms, and therefore, for some reason they look like cute cars rather than sporty cars. Make them look sporty like the new Siennas, and they will win some market back (unless people actually need AWD).

      • You are absolutely right about the stigma thing. My wife used to swear up and down that she would never get a minivan. She toughed it out with her CR-V as long as she could. When the in-laws (or other visitors) came over, I would dutifully crawl in the back, while everybody else piled in. But once we had our second kid, it became increasingly impossible to safely get the whole family where we were going. Then when the older one entered grade school, there was the need to shuttle friends about, too.

        So we've

        • by rk (6314)

          I have an Odyssey, too, and it's pretty good for a mini-van. We got it because dogs, not kids, but many of the use cases are similar.

          I do miss my Fusion Hybrid that I traded in for it, though. Pretty car, and I liked paying a lot less for gas.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by netsavior (627338)
      Minivans are not dead. Pretty much every model still tops 100,000+ sales per year. (Mazda 5 being an exception, though it is really a subcompact with sliding doors, not really a minivan) 2013 model year sales ranked by top sellers:

      #31 - Honda Odyssey
      #34 - Dodge Grand Caravan
      #37 - Chrysler Town & Country
      #38 - Toyota Siennav #45 - Kia Sorento

      Link [goodcarbadcar.net]

      My reality is that they only sell $45,000 suvs or much cheaper minivans that can fit my whole family... So for me, they are here to stay. My minivan
    • by darylb (10898) on Monday July 21, 2014 @09:21AM (#47500325)

      While there were 14 manufacturers of minivans 15-20 years ago, there are only five today: Chrysler/Dodge, Honda, Toyota, Kia (with a newly reintroduced Sedona), and Nissan. Still, that's five manufacturers all offering competitive products.

      As a father of four minions, I've yet to find an SUV that equals the minivan in its ability to haul six or seven people AND THEIR GEAR in good comfort, all while achieving 25+ mpg. My 2011 Town and Country actually got 27.5 mpg on one tank of gas on a recent 2800 mile trip. My brother's SUV struggles to achieve 18.

      Having rented several SUVs on trips, they can seat everybody, but squeezing in the bags is a real challenge.

      I sure hope the minivan doesn't disappear. Truly, it is without equal for families up to about 7 people.

      • While there were 14 manufacturers of minivans 15-20 years ago, there are only five today

        7 actually (Chrysler, Toyota, Honda, Kia, Nissan, Mazda, VW) though I think VW might contract the actual manufacturing to Chrysler.

        My 2011 Town and Country actually got 27.5 mpg on one tank of gas on a recent 2800 mile trip. My brother's SUV struggles to achieve 18.

        A Jeep Grand Cherokee with the diesel option will get around 30mpg on the highway and seat up to 7. The current Dodge Grand Caravan gets 17 city, 25 highway which is roughly the same as a full sized pickup truck with a boosted V6 engine. There really is no excuse for minivans to not be able to get mpg over 30mpg appropriately configured.

        I sure hope the minivan doesn't disappear. Truly, it is without equal for families up to about 7 people.

        It won't. It might not be sexy but as y

        • by bmajik (96670)

          I think VW might contract the actual manufacturing to Chrysler.

          Indeed. The VW Routan was a Chrysler Town and Country with some different skins on the inside and out. It was so much not a VW product that the VCDS system (the thing you can use to do vehicle diagnostics on any VW, Audi, Seat, or Skoda product since the early 90s) doesn't even talk to it.

          In the German market, VW sells Vans of all different sizes. None of them are currently imported to the US; the Eurovan was the last rest-of-world van that

        • by Uberbah (647458)

          A Jeep Grand Cherokee with the diesel option will get around 30mpg on the highway and seat up to 7.

          Unfortunately, a third row seat is not an option on the Cherokee, so the max seating is five. Unfortunate because the engine provides good towing capacity in addition to mileage, so it would be nice if Chrysler made it an option for the Durango, which does have a third row.

      • by pnutjam (523990)
        Ford's getting back in the game with the transit. It looks pretty good, although ford has a poor track record with minivans. Their villager (quest) was the last good one they made.
      • by swillden (191260)

        Depends somewhat on lifestyle. If I'd had a minivan, I'd also have needed to buy a pickup truck. An SUV fills both roles. Neither quite as well as the ideal vehicle, but well enough that it makes more sense than two vehicles... actually three since we also needed a commuter vehicle.

        • If I'd had a minivan, I'd also have needed to buy a pickup truck. An SUV fills both roles.

          An SUV does NOT fill the role of a pickup truck unless you don't actually need a pickup truck. You need a pickup when you are toting things that you do not want to carry in the interior of a vehicle like loose dirt, stone, certain bulky supplies, trash, etc. Messy stuff. Very bulky stuff. If you can put what you are likely to carry in an SUV then you don' t actually need a pickup. My wife has an SUV which we use for plowing and I have a pickup which we use for transporting bulky stuff. Significant ove

          • by Uberbah (647458)

            I kind of laugh when I hear people say they "need" a minivan. Amazing how those of us who predate minivans somehow managed to survive. They're a great tool but hardly a necessity. The car my family had when I was growing up was a sports coupe. We took all the family trips and got all our gear in it too.

            Do you do said laughter right after highlighting the different capabilities of trucks and SUV's, as you just did above? You weren't hauling 7 people plus gear in that sports coupe, at least not safely.

          • by swillden (191260)

            An SUV does NOT fill the role of a pickup truck unless you don't actually need a pickup truck. You need a pickup when you are toting things that you do not want to carry in the interior of a vehicle like loose dirt, stone, certain bulky supplies, trash, etc. Messy stuff. Very bulky stuff. If you can put what you are likely to carry in an SUV then you don' t actually need a pickup.

            An SUV plus a utility trailer does fill the role of a pickup truck.

            Why would you "need" a commuter vehicle? The cost of any commuter vehicle is going to hugely outstrip any fuel savings you might possible generate.

            The cost of a minivan plus a pickup plus the fuel to commute in the pickup is greater than the cost of an SUV plus a small sedan plus the fuel to commute in the sedan.

    • It seems that in the US at least, the minivan is quite nearly dead.

      Not even remotely [goodcarbadcar.net]. 532,357 minivans were sold in the US in 2013.

      How many companies other than Chrysler are still making them for the US market at all?

      Toyota, Honda, Kia, Mazda, Toyota, Nissan and VW all make and sell minivans. Chrysler, Toyota and Honda own about 90% of the market together between their 4 offerings.

    • by b0r0din (304712)

      Let me guess, you live in the city?

      Crossovers and SUVs have definitely taken from the minivan market but there's no question that minivans are going to be here for a while. They are very convenient and IMO more comfortable than the SUVs we tried, especially at the price. The minivan we got was at least 10-15k less than a comparable SUV, plus fuel economy is better and IMO the interior is so much more comfortable for long trips than other vehicles.

      The biggest disappointment has been fuel effiency. The miniva

    • by dpilot (134227)

      We had that "pull-down mirror" in our 2008 bottom-of-the-line Sienna. I called it the "bratfinder", at the time.

    • As for the "pull down mirror", that isn't even remotely new technology. Other vehicles have had those for a decade or more.

      Yeah, like limos. So where's the feature that lets the kids raise the privacy partition to cut their parent off?

  • Now, if only there was a convenient place to store my wiffle ball bat too. At least they already have a "mean look" mirror (http://blogs.cars.com/.a/6a00d83451b3c669e2017d41511f46970c-800wi).

  • by axl917 (1542205) <axl@mail.plymouth.edu> on Monday July 21, 2014 @08:54AM (#47500135)

    > ...'pull-down conversation mirror' that lets drivers check on kids without turning around."

    Back in the 70's, those mysterious "eyes in the back of the head" that'd always catch you when you were about to yank your sister's pigtails.

  • ! Not so that the kids can yell at me, but so that I can actually HEAR them over the wind blowing through the windows and the cars outside. I know how to project my voice, so the kids hear me fine, but I can't hear them at all. And I'm just in a car.

    But just no, to the conversation mirror - most parents already don't keep their eyes on the road, we don't need to give them another excuse.
    • I agree, it would be more useful the other way around. Turn the van into a "Driver Speak Easy". That would really be helpful to parents.
      • If you don't mind looking ridiculous, the helicopter market has had this for ages (since there's nothing quite like sitting under a propeller going fast enough to keep you in the air when it comes to noise...) Nice, sturdy, over-the-ear headphones with substantial protection from outside noise, along with a mic which gets piped to everyone else's headphones so they can hear you as though you were speaking in a more normal environment(the ability to mute individual users would, of course, be vital in broad a
    • by Qzukk (229616)

      But just no, to the conversation mirror - most parents already don't keep their eyes on the road, we don't need to give them another excuse.

      Ah, memories of my childhood. Things like my father flying down the freeway at 60 turning around in his seat and screaming "You look at me when I'm talking to you boy!" while everyone else screamed about oncoming traffic.

      At the time I learned to drive, I considered my greatest achievement was being able to hold a conversation without looking at the person I'm speaking

  • *Facepalm* (Score:4, Funny)

    by RogueWarrior65 (678876) on Monday July 21, 2014 @09:01AM (#47500195)

    This ranks right up there with the dedicated chicken nuggets button on some ovens.

    • by timeOday (582209)
      If only they mic'd up the whole car, instead of just the front. Then it would allow passengers in the rear to participate in cellphone calls, and make having a conversation throughout the vehicle much easier. It would make the middle and rear space less second class. But being one-way, it really does come across as a "yell at the kids" feature.
  • They should implement voice-changing methods. Then you could make your voice super low and booming and be like "THIS IS GOD. STOP FIGHTING."
  • Hmm, adding technology that allows the driver to focus their attention on what is going on in the back seat rather than the road? What could go wrong?

    They need a "Sit Down and Shut-Up" package - 5 point restraints and ball-gags for the kids in the back seat.

  • ... to separate the rear into two passenger compartments that are isolated from each other. This would remove most of the reasons for chewing out the passengers there.
    • Buy a limousine. Loads of room for the kids in the back, and this cool screen that can totally isolate the driver from the passengers.

      Just make sure the minibar is empty before heading off to school.

      • by Ihlosi (895663)
        and this cool screen that can totally isolate the driver from the passengers.

        I need to isolate the passengers from each other. Otherwise, they'll tear up the passenger compartment and/or I have to make unplanned trips to the emergency room.

  • So this is 'news that matters' now? It looks more like astro-turfing for Toyota?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 21, 2014 @09:18AM (#47500295)

    In Japan, Toyota sells a hybrid minivan (the Estima) that uses the Prius drivetrain and is based off the (discontinued in the states) Previa styling:

    http://green.autoblog.com/2013/11/07/toyota-estima-hybrid-minivan/ [autoblog.com]

    Most of these vans get less than 20-25 MPG, so an offering that gets 40 MPG city (or better) would surely be more compelling than a gimmick megaphone. Hey Toyota, about get your act together and bring your superior automotive technology to the USA instead of this kind of stuff.

    • and is based off the (discontinued in the states) Previa styling:

      Thank $diety. The Previa was one of the ugliest vehicles this side of a Pontiak Aztek. I've never seen a minivan I thought was remotely pleasant to look at but the Previa was ugly above and beyond the call of duty. I'm kind of astonished nobody has seemingly even tried to make a minivan that is better looking.

    • In Japan, Toyota sells a hybrid minivan (the Estima) that uses the Prius drivetrain and is based off the (discontinued in the states) Previa styling:

      http://green.autoblog.com/2013/11/07/toyota-estima-hybrid-minivan/ [autoblog.com]

      Most of these vans get less than 20-25 MPG, so an offering that gets 40 MPG city (or better) would surely be more compelling than a gimmick megaphone. Hey Toyota, about get your act together and bring your superior automotive technology to the USA instead of this kind of stuff.

      I've been asking Toyota for years. That said, I finally caved and got a non-hybrid Sienna, and it gets about 20mpg combined average. I'd kill for that Estima to be sold here even if they did mark up for adding a hybrid drivetrain.

  • Old is new (Score:5, Funny)

    by djupedal (584558) on Monday July 21, 2014 @09:18AM (#47500301)
    My Aunt had a car back in the '50s that had a speed alert buzzer - she'd set it and teld the kids the car could tell when someone was misbehaving - whenever the kids in the back seat started in on each other she'd speed up so it went off. Spooky car that one...
  • We worked on something just like this years ago (over 10 years ago) at an engineering internship I had at an automotive supplier in Michigan. We had a whole mock-up for an auto show. We put directional microphones in a rear-view mirror and sent the signal through an amplifier to the car speakers. The biggest problem we had to overcome was feedback. It is really hard to amplify someones voice in such a small, enclosed space without horrendous feedback, and feedback at all kinds of audio frequencies. I rememb
    • Amplify it and call it a feature. A deafening blast of screeching feedback noise every time the kids misbehave would be a hell of a deterrent.

  • each of them over ten years old.

    I'm not a Mini-van fan, but those things, even at 10+ years are nice on the inside and you can't kill them. They just keep going. Also, the years they were built they were more American than the Mustang of the same year model, actually passing it up in parts manufactured in the U.S./ Canada. I don't know if the whole "Sienna is more American than the Mustang" thing is still true or not, but a little over ten years ago it was.

  • Slashdotters don't have wives let alone kids, you insensitive clod.
  • Yes kids, learn early that authority comes out of a loudspeaker, that's a useful trait for the future you are headed to. Next stop, Dystopia City.

  • by Rambo Tribble (1273454) on Monday July 21, 2014 @09:51AM (#47500559)
    ... in the art of modern parenting. Finally, the American standard of social discourse, "I'm right because I'm yelling louder", can be brought to the homey confines of the minivan and ingrained on the little darlings early on.
    • by Jeremi (14640) on Monday July 21, 2014 @10:34AM (#47500887) Homepage

      Finally, the American standard of social discourse, "I'm right because I'm yelling louder", can be brought to the homey confines of the minivan and ingrained on the little darlings early on.

      Have you ever tried to reason with a 3-year old? There are times when the "Argument from Because I Said So" is literally the only option left. Finer points of logic are completely lost on a person with an undeveloped frontal lobe who is in the middle of a temper tantrum.

      • by Rambo Tribble (1273454) on Monday July 21, 2014 @11:16AM (#47501241)
        Which is precisely why I advocate the use of shock collars. The rest of this stuff is just sissy nonsense.
      • by BitZtream (692029)

        Everytime you see someone talk about parents doing something like this being 'wrong' you can rest assured that they've never had any children or taken care of them for any length of time.

        • by Uberbah (647458)

          Every time some authoritarian parent is questioned about their actions, the first thing out of their mouths is "well, do you have kids?"

          you can rest assured that they've never had any children or taken care of them for any length of time

          Or they assuredly have, which is why they can tell that the three year old isn't necessarily the one being childish, stubborn, selfish or petty.

  • by dominux (731134) on Monday July 21, 2014 @09:59AM (#47500597) Homepage

    People in cars face forward, in the front I can hear the kids just fine, no problem at all. It really is quite difficult to hear forward facing people in the front from the back. Of course there is a further difference between hearing and listening, but this doesn't sound like the most crazy thing I have ever heard of.

  • I'm sure I saw at least three dozen other commercials last night, anyone want to post an article about those?

  • My wife's 2014 Highlander has both of these features. Also built-in pull down sunsceeens for the passengers.
  • Why is anyone complaining about this? It's a well-known problem, even in smaller cars but especially in minivans, that the people in the rear seat can't easily hear the people in the front seat, so the people in front typically have to raise their voice. This is simply because they're facing forwards. People in the front have no problem hearing the people in the back. So this new feature certainly makes sense as it amplifies the front seated person's voice but not the people in the back. This will actu

  • It is the mirror that attracted my attention. Someone who cannot keep his attention on the road while he is driving shouldn't be driving, let alone raising kids.

     

  • I always wanted the glass screen option, once the fighting starts I just raise the screen and enjoy the peace.
  • by fahrbot-bot (874524) on Monday July 21, 2014 @01:26PM (#47502455)

    It uses a built-in microphone to amplify a parent's voice through speakers in the back seats.

    Made me think of the "Better Off Ted" episode, "Bioshuffle" (Season 1, Episode 9):

    • Ted: So, what is it?
    • Phil: We call it "The Voice of God."
    • Ted: No, we don't.
    • Phil: No, we don't.
    • Linda: Field testing shows that the subject, or "victim," as I like to call people "helped" by Veridian Technology, can be hundreds of feet away and will hear the message as though it's being whispered only to them.
    • Phil: It's highly persuasive. Advertising companies are very excited because it will allow them to burrow even deeper into the human brain.
    • Phil: At full power, the sound wave is so intense it can cause vomiting.
    • Ted: A machine that causes vomiting. Well, that could have all kinds of applications for the military... and fashion modeling.
  • I have a Sienna. I'm perfectly capable of yelling at my kids loud enough so everyone in the car can hear. Hearing my soft-spoken daughter in the third row is another story entirely. If the radio is on or a window is open, forget it. I'd like this system in two-way mode so she can talk to the driver and front passenger more easily.

God may be subtle, but he isn't plain mean. -- Albert Einstein

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