When people wanted to play DVDs on their car navs

Oh we were all so kooky in years past. We desperately wanted to use those brand-new screens in our brand-new cars for something. Hey, you remember when screens in cars were brand new, right? This was a very expensive option and we wanted to do as much as possible with it.

Enter the LOCKPICK

I wrote about this device in 2015, although I am pretty sure I’d mentioned it in now-deleted posts even earlier. The LOCKPICK was a device which worked with select vehicles with built-in screens. It let you play DVD movies while the car was in motion. If your car had a backup camera (a novelty back then) it would let you keep the camera on all the time instead of just when you were reversing.

While LOCKPICK devices worked well, they weren’t made for every car. And, you had to get the right model for your car. Installing one involved finding the point where the radio’s wiring harness connected to the rest of the vehicle and putting the device in the middle. Depending on your level of expertise, that could be pretty difficult.

What ever happened to LOCKPICK?

I think the company is still in business. We stopped selling them due to poor demand. The idea of watching content on your 5″ car audio screen stopped being really interesting once people got tablets with built-in LTE cellular. Today if people want to watch video in their cars, they don’t worry about DVDs in the dashboard. They just download what they want.

And of course, Android Auto and CarPlay.

Another reason that LOCKPICK devices stopped being so popular, I’m sure, has to do with Android Auto and CarPlay. These systems replace many of the functions of your car’s infotainment system with a link to your phone. If you have a newer car, you’re probably aware of it. This system adds a layer of complexity to in-car systems and when it’s in use, it probably wouldn’t work with the LOCKPICK system. The manufacturer’s web site doesn’t mention either Android Auto or CarPlay so I have to imagine that they’re a problem.

But the basic idea…

…the basic idea still makes sense. There are a lot of laws on the books and a lot of voluntary moves by carmakers. Some don’t let you use the camera (backup cameras are required by law now) if you’re moving forward. Some states don’t even let you touch your phone if the car’s in motion. Some systems are so complex that they’re hard to understand. A system like LOCKPICK sought to help you deal with all that, but in the end it seems like that was yesterday’s thinking. The thinking for today and tomorrow seems to be voice control, either through Alexa, Google Home, or through Android Auto or CarPlay. Entertainment options are increasingly done through your phone and not through a system that gets more outdated every year. You have more power than you ever have, and you don’t have to install something behind the dash to get it. Sounds good to me! Of course, if you want the best in cellular products, give Solid Signal a call at 888-233-7563.


About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 8,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.