We spend a lot of time looking at the latest in personal tech with devices such as smartphones, tablets, and computers. We also spend a lot of time looking at tech to make our homes smarter and more connected with thermostats, smart cameras, and lightbulbs. So what about cars? Why not take a look at ways to make your car smarter and more connected as well. Here are some cool gadgets that can turn your regular ride into a KITT-style smart one.
There are many devices on the market now that will turn your car into a rolling Wi-Fi hotspot. The AT&T Mobley will plug into your car's onboard OBD-II port and offer Wi-Fi for up to five devices at once. If your kids have tablets but would like to watch Netflix or play their favorite online game than having a Wi-Fi connection wherever you go is a great tech gadget to look into. If your car is 1996 or newer than it will have an OBD II port.
If you're lucky enough to have a high-end vehicle with TPMS (Tire Pressure Monitoring System) from the factory, then you know about the convenience of knowing the state of your tires at all times. For those with traditional non-smart rims and tires, the FOBO system can give you such convenience without any difficult installation or setup. Keep tabs on your car's tire pressure and get notified of any problems instantly. Catching a slow leaking tire and addressing any leaks or punctures can help prevent you from unknowingly driving on a low tire and potentially having a dangerous blowout.
With a relatively inexpensive OBD II port Bluetooth adapter and the $4.95 Torque Pro app you can monitor your car in real time. The Torque app will allow you to see and reset any fault codes, as well as see live sensor data for your vehicle. It also features performance measuring stats. For less than $15 you can have a complete engine diagnostic system so if your CES or SES light comes on you won't have to pay shop fees for a simple code reading.
If you find yourself losing signal or data on your cellphone while driving than a cell phone signal booster may be for you. Gadgets such as the weBoost Drive 4G-X can boost your signal range by up to 50% and provide peace of mind no matter where you travel.
You shouldn't be toying with your cell phone while you drive, so it's the ideal time to plug it in and give your device a quick charge-up. If your device supports QI charging, there are plenty of QI Chargers that let you dock your phone and will sit conveniently in your cars cup holder giving that battery a top-up while still being within arms reach.
Many cool heads-up display units are coming out to market that offer safe ways to interact with your smartphone without running the risk of unwanted traffic tickets or dangerous distractions that can cause accidents. The Navdy system is now accepting pre-orders and allows the use of hand gestures and voice commands to interact with your device to make calls, check messages, use navigation, control music and more. It retails for $299, and that should be less than the cost of a traffic violation for using your device while driving.
There are a few companies such as Viper making a remote starter and security systems that can turn your car into a connected one. They allow you to start your car remotely from the convenience of your phone, as well as check on the vehicle parameters similar to the OBD II plugs. They can also GPS track your vehicle in case it gets stolen, or your teenager takes it out for the night and doesn't show up by curfew time.