Home Companies Industry Politics Money Opinion LoungeMultimedia Science Education Sports TechnologyConsumerSpecialsMint on Sunday

Car gadgets | Top gear

Car gadgets | Top gear
Comment E-mail Print Share
First Published: Tue, Feb 19 2008. 11 43 PM IST

Updated: Mon, Mar 10 2008. 12 39 AM IST
Car Camera Recorder Pro
Price: $50
This is an ingenious rear-view mirror car camera recorder that gives you video footage of everything happening in the front and back of the car—with or without audio. It automatically starts recording the moment you switch on the ignition. You can record as well as playback in real time. Its 2.5 inch LCD screen offers wide-angle view capabilities and the digital video recording device can be attached to any rear-view mirror. It uses the car lighter as a power source and can be installed easily. The video is recorded on the included 1GB SD memory card, which can be removed any time to transfer the videos to your PC or laptop. Video input from an auxiliary camera at the rear also works as a good navigation aid while in reverse gear.
PowerStation Traveller
Price: $33
Think of this as a multi-point extension of your car’s cigarette lighter. It can power/charge as many as three devices at the same time and comes in the form of a convenient carrybag with additional storage for all your gizmos as well. The PowerStation Traveller features padded hand-straps, an adjustable, detachable shoulder strap, a back-pocket to store power cords and DC/AC adapters to connect to both the car lighter as well as home/office/hotel indoor power outlets. Adjustable sliders help grip your devices and hold them firmly in place.
Solar Powered Digital Tire Gauge
Price: $12
Want to add life to your car tyre? Try this pressure gauge. It comes with a digital backlit LCD display and solar panel for recharging the built-in lithium batteries. It accurately monitors air pressure on your car tyres. You can select PSI, bar, KPA, or kg/cm2 pressure settings and see the readings on the LCD screen. The gauge switches off automatically after a few seconds. Also integrated is an extendable depth ruler that allows you to check the tread of your tyres in a jiffy.
Price: $89
Finally, here’s something that could save you from being taken for a ride by the greasy neighbourhood car mechanic. All you need to do is simply plug the handheld vehicle diagnostic gadget into your car’s computer board. And, depending on the health of your automobile, CarMD downloads the vehicle’s diagnostic codes and renders a quick “diagnosis” in the form of a green (okay), yellow (proceed with caution) or red light (consult a mechanic). Likewise, the CarMD tester will also assist in telling you whether the used car you’re thinking of buying is fit for the road or not.
Need more information on the possible problems? Upload the CarMD data to the company website for a full problem-by-problem report.
Jaeger LeCoultre AMVOX2 Watch
Price: $35,000
Shaken and stirred by the price? Well, that’s what it takes to stop envying James Bond and his cunning contraptions. And, of course, you also need to buy the $330,864 Aston Martin DBS coupe to get the Jaeger LeCoultre AMVOX2 wristwatch to serve as its key—for unlocking and starting the car for you. This limited-edition chronograph, which has “over 200 parts to its casing and an equal number in the watch movement itself”, incorporates a miniaturized form of the car’s transponder electronics within the base. The wristy starter is available in either Grade 5 titanium or rose-gold.
Price: $35 upwards
The water-protected, licence plate mounted back-up camera, available at Amazon, comes with a 7-inch mirror screen and a remote control and facilitates reversing your car into tight spots without much of a problem. The screen can be hooked to a portable DVD or game system as well. The Night Vision Back-up waterproof camera boasts of 9 LED lights for low light conditions. It has a 1/2-inch colour CCD sensor that produces a 420-line resolution mirrored image. The front number-plate mounted FEC106 camera from Eclipse lets you see a split-screen view of both sides of your vehicle. The composite, split-screen image of oncoming traffic in both directions is intended give you an at-a-glance view of all that’s happening around you.
Alert Driver Fatigue Bracelet
Seems we’re heading for an era where the car will decide if we are fit enough to drive or not... This wrist-worn gizmo is designed to monitor your fatigue levels based on your reaction times and communicate with an RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) tag placed in your car. The moment the flexible rubber band detects a critical stage of tiredness or drowsiness, it alerts you by vibrating. Sleepyheads, inebriated or tired travellers should benefit greatly from this invention, which is yet to hit the market.
Keyfinder Keyring
Price: $10-15
Do you misplace your car keys time and again? You should then get yourself a Keyfinder Keyring. Just whistle or clap and the humble keyring beeps back to let you know its current location. There are a range of such devices in the market.
Some come with an inbuilt flashlight. Others even allow you a fail-safe 10-second digital recording system to voice annotate parking lot number, driving directions, or a crucial phone number for an important appointment.
Audi Mobile Control
Key to the forthcoming Audi metroproject quattro hybrid is a single removable, hand-held mobile device that functions as a keyless ignition authorization system, 3G UMTS mobile phone, GPS navigation unit, security alarm, and audio/video player. The unit, which also incorporates WiFi connectivity, has a touch screen interface. A good security measure is that the device also gives you real-time images of the vehicle’s interiors. The menu is based on the Audi’s proprietary MMI (multimedia interface), used in high-end Audi cars.
Price: $750
Always afraid that someone will steal your car? You’ve tried the standard starter kill relays, chips embedded in key fobs, GPS tracking and even telemetry... How about using biometrics now? Touch-n-Drive is a small dashboard-mounted biometric gadget that immobilizes the engine if the user’s fingerprints do not tally with the ones in its databank. The high-tech starter can recognize up to 10 users and can interface the biometric data with an alarm as well. It has a temporary cellphone activated “valet mode” and safeguards against identity theft by internally encrypting all fingerprints. It includes a USB socket, battery backup, and can be easily fitted into most cars.
(Write to us at businessoflife@livemint.com)
Comment E-mail Print Share
First Published: Tue, Feb 19 2008. 11 43 PM IST