You love your car. It is sleek, fine and powerful. Driving to work feels good. Taking a run up to the mountains is pure joy. You are having so much fun commuting and cruising, you wonder what could possibly make it better. Enter gadgets. Not the kind you rely on for driving for functionality, like good snow tires and heavy duty floor mats. Im talking about long glorious eyelashes for your VW bug or an in car microwave. Admittedly, some gadgets are silly, (although that can make them fun,) others are very practical, and others essentially enhance your experience of getting the most out of your vehicle.
For the racing aficionado who is weary of using a stopwatch, (or a friend posted at the end of the track,) there are chronometers you can add to your vehicle. Both analog and digital displays are viewable, and you can then download the results onto your laptop. Much better than trying to handle the steering wheel and punch “start” and “end” on a timer at the same time. Of course, you could affix a laptop to your car with a nice mount, or an iphone, to maximize cool techno racing ala a secret agent feel.
Before you buy a blow torch, however, to cut apart and enhance your dash with a macbook or an android cell phone, consider some quick, easy enhancements that allow you to use your existing internet devices while in your car.
The easiest and least expensive gadget every car owner should get is a Micro USB car charger. How many times has your phone gone dead while you’re driving? These small chargers fits into your cigar lighter, turning it into a USB Car Charger that can be used to charge ipads, iphones or MP3 players. Having USB charging outlets in your car is so convenient, you will wonder how you ever survived without this little gadget. You can buy adapters with 1, 2 or 3 ports, enabling you to plug in as many devices as you choose. I even found a cup holder adapter that sits right where you usually put your water bottle. Some of these adapters also use LED batteries in case you want more power than what your auto battery provides.
Most contemporary cars offer a pretty good package of computerized accessories, from GPS to DVD players. And, if you want a gadget not included with your vehicle, there are numerous items available that can easily be integrated in to your car. For those drivers finding they need a comprehensive system for their vehicle, that marries several technologies into one system, a computer oriented interface system is the way to go.
Several automakers are offering computer oriented interfaces with varying success in their vehicles. There are many different practical reasons for having a computer in your vehicle. If you spend a lot of time driving, especially for your work, having access to continuous GPS as well as live traffic reports and email communication will be of great benefit. Computer amenities in your car can allow you to keep up with work and save time during your commute. It is pretty cool and convenient to go through your e-mail before you even get out of your car and settle in at your desk. For family use, it is really nice to have premium and varied entertainment on board for your kids, be it a Sesame street video for the 3 year old, or internet access allowing your teens to use FaceBook and Youtube. Don’t forget several other gadgets designed to make your ride even sleeker and cooler. Audi offers a traffic light detection system. It is still experimental, but contains technology syncing your car with communications modules built into traffic lights. The traffic lights themselves send messages to cars in their vicinity, alerting them to the time remaining until their next green phase. The car’s side of the system then can calculate at what speed the driver needs to progress in order to hit traffic lights when they are in the green phase.
Mostly available in luxury vehicles at this point, the use of computer interface devices are sure to expand as the technology improves. BMW and Rolls Royce offer a computer system called the iDrive. It consists of a LCD panel mounted in the dashboard and a controller knob located on the center console. The iDrive allows the user and her passengers to control the climate via the heater and air conditioner, the audio system, the navigation system and communication system. Early models proved troublesome, but the technology and functionality are improving. Other car makers are now producing models with an existing computer interface including Cadillac, Audi, Lexus, Mercedes-Benz, Toyota and Ford.
You have to love these gadgets. For more car help on these cool devices, talk to the folks at your auto shop. The World Wide Web and all of it’s applications are now in our vehicles. And, everyone has access, starting with a USB charger, to integrating your own peripherals, to an onboard computer interface. Spoil yourself-you need some gadgets.