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After another innovation-fueled year, the 2015 International CES again proved why it's the place to be for tech geeks everywhere. What's more surprising these days is the firm foothold the show has in the automotive landscape. With the race for the connected car (and connected life for that matter) in full swing, both the OEMs and aftermarket are hustling to market any products they can to jump start their revenues in the medium. Aside from this, the show also featured a variety of impressive offerings from familiar companies looking to jumpstart their own interests for both consumers and retailers in 12-volt. Here are some highlights from this year's show:

- Kicker is releasing a line that is exclusive to 12-volt retailers, boxing out the big boxes and online sellers like Crutchfield, to show its support of independent retailers. The high-end Q-Class line will include the IQ-Series of intelligent power amplifiers and the top-end QS-Series component speakers, designed to fit into more factory hole locations than before. 

- VOXX Electronics has added a new line of in-car electronics to its already packed lineup of products with the Baby On Board child car seat sensor. The device requires a 5-minute install by the owner, and utilizes a Bluetooth proximity sensor that alerts the driver when they leave the car via a key fob beeper. The device will be available this summer for $59.95. 

- The connected car is officially in full play in the aftermarket as both Pioneer and Kenwood have introduced head units that feature Apple Carplay and Android Auto compatibility. Pioneer has released its second generation NEX in-dash receivers, which all include CarPlay, while three models include Android Auto. Kenwood has introduced a successor to its DNN991HD connected receiver, which now includes updated mapping software by Garmin™, parking guides for a connected rear-view camera and better source multitasking.

- A trend to watch by several companies is the emergence of Bluetooth remote controls for powersports vehicles. MTX announced the MUDBTRC, designed to allow Bluetooth music streaming from most Bluetooth enabled devices directly to an amplifier, eliminating the need to install a source unit.

For more information on the products described above, and more detail on the latest from CES, check out our February issue of Mobile Electronics, coming next month. 

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