5 Essential Car Gadgets

| April 23, 2015

If you have a car, what are some of the best car gadgets you can buy? There are many new gadgets on the market dedicated to the driver, its not just your smartphone you should be travelling with nowadays. Car life cycles are different from electronic gadgets. If you have a car thats 4 years old, its still nearly new, but if your sat nav is 4 years old, it will look like a dinosaur.

car gadgets

car gadgets

Alcosense Lite

alcosense

alcosense

The first handy gadget to have in your car is the Alcosense Lite. Its a breathalyzer device, with 3 attractive propositions. First it has a low price, but it also has great usability and accuracy too. It uses disposable blow tubes to allow you to blow into it, and it also has a self cleaning mechanism inside. The makers of the Alcosense Lite claim that its readings are accurate within +/- 0.02% of your blood alcohol level (BAC). But how well does it work? Well its been compared against a police breathalyser, and the readings have come back the same, so its very accurate indeed. Handy to have in your car if you’re on a night out, and fancy just a small beer or a sip of wine. Its also a great way to distinguish between your high alcohol level, or just a bad headache when it comes to driving the next day. Its worth having this easily accessible in your car, especially if you’re a regular meal goer. You never know, you might just save yourself losing your license or causing a serious accident. Be sure to check your local laws regarding how much alcohol your allowed in your bloodstream.

Buzzard 2

buzzard 2

Buzzard 2

How about a handy car optimized 4G and Wi Fi hotspot gadget? Well EE have released just that in the form of Buzzard 2. Its a joystick shaped device that is plugged into your cigarette lighter, and can generate wireless connectivity for up to 10 devices, all via the 4G data network. There are a number of different data plans with EE that you can subscribe to for a monthly cost. You can either get the device free on a contract and pay the monthly fee, or you can purchase it for approximately £20, and then pay a similar monthly pay as you go charge. The data plans allow you to access up to 3GB on the most expensive package, which is all you need to check your emails or allow the kids to browse the internet in the back on their tablets. You can also plug your devices into the USB slot to charge them up which is an added bonus.

Garmin Dash Cam 20

You might be lucky enough to see a falling meteor from the skies from the safety of your car windscreen, but if your going to capture live footage you’ll need a dash cam like the Garmin Dash Cam 20. Its handy to be able to report the authenticity of events while you’re out in the open road. People can claim that an accident was your fault when in reality it has been theirs, and without the proof of a dash cam, its sometimes problematic when it comes to dealing with your insurance. The Dash Cam 20 plugs into your cigarette lighter, and records in .AVI format at full 1080p at 30fps. Your Video is recorded onto a SD card in 256MB chunks, and in the box you receive a 4GB card. This gives you 48 minutes of full HD video, or 2.2 hours if you take the resolution down to 720p, and 4.8 hours if you use basic VGA recording. It has a wide angled lens to capture as much footage as possible, and also has a built in microphone. You can also view the playback on the 2.3″ screen, and with the times stamp that is embedded in the video you can check when exactly something happened. There is also G-sensor technology which automatically stores the footage to the card permanently following a crash or a hard brake.

iODB2

How about an app on your smartphone that tells you exactly what your engine is doing and the performance of your car’s components? Thats what the iODB2 does. Its a 16 pin plug in diagnostic connector that connects to your car’s data port and then connects to your smartphone via bluetooth. If you’re a petrol head or have fine tuned your car in anyway then this is the gadget for you. It allows you to view and diagnose the European On Board Diagnostic (EOBD). The standard iOBD model supports up to 38 different makes of car. If you have a BMW or a Volkswagen Audi motor, you’re going to have to purchase the specific iODB connector for them instead. You can get live data feed information via the iODB app which tells you the speed, fuel consumption, engine RPM, the temperature of the engine, the acceleration, and also the air intake of the engine.

iODB2 Smartphone

iODB2 Smartphone

Garmin Nuvi

Previously the satnav leader in the car industry was TomTom. They have fallen by the kerbside lately and been overtaken by Garmin Nuvi. There are 3 models of the Nuvi. Essential, advanced, and prestige. The prestige model features a dash cam too. The other models all have 5″ & 6″ display options. It combines innovative routing features with easy to understand spoken turn by turn directions. The screen is bright, and it is compatible with other Garmin devices. This essential car gadget features lifetime access to map updates, and as you are trying to find an address on the street, there is a handy switch to camera mode with a large arrow, pointing towards the correct house. There is an included birds eye junction view that shows detailed views of the interchangeables, with a view from overhead. You can also easily locate places like food stores, and gas sations from the icons that are highlighted on the maps too. With the smartphone link app you can also integrate with additional services such as Foursquare.

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