Toyota turns Nintendo DS into nav system remote

The Nintendo DS may be one of the most popular portable gaming systems on the market, but one auto manufacturer has taken the device a step further.

Yes, Toyota has transformed the Nintendo DS into an automotive nav system remote. The system is dubbed “Kuruma de DS,” which translates roughly to”Use the DS in the Car.”

The modded DS allows passengers  (obviously not the driver) to enter a destination into the vehicle’s navigation system.

The DS also displays map as well as sightseeing information, helping users save locations they’ve already visited.

The system requires a game card that is Bluetooth enabled for the DS. That game card is then paired with the vehicle, and the DS is ready to be used as remote control.

The interface is said to feature Nintendo Mii characters and boasts a mini speedometer that displays vehicle speeds in real time.

Unfortunately, the system is far from cheap – with Toyota’s required Smart Navi setting car buyers back the equivalent of $2,586 here in the US. In addition, the required game card has to be purchased through Toyota dealers for a cool $92.

Naturally, users will also need a Nintendo DS, which would set them back a couple hundred dollars more. There is no indication  whether the mandatory game cartridge is universal or if it works with various Nintendo portables on the market such as the DSi models and the new 3DS.

Frankly, as cool as it seems, the DS remote is probably one of those novelty items you would use once or twice and never pick up again.