We spend a lot of time in our cars; many people consider it just a means of getting from point "A" to point "B". But there are some great creature comforts and downright entertaining hi tech gadgets on the market today. These gadgets will not make your car Kit from Knight Rider (well maybe one will), but the article addresses a few items to consider, but obviously there are a lot more.
HD Radio is one of the most impressive and practical gadgets available. It provides a huge technology lead from what we have become accustomed to with AM and FM radio stations into what is now digital radio. The cost is all on the front end with the equipment, there is no monthly subscription fees, no hissing associated with radio and many more stations to choose from.
FLIR Systems developed the PathFindIR to provide thermal imaging that increases nighttime visibility. The device is shown through a camera and it allows the driver to see people, animals or whatever up to 2000 feet which is way further than we currently see in the dark. The cool think is you can continue to see that distance through snow, rain and snow. As you can imagine it's been tested by the military too. This is a cool gadget, but for the price you will have to do some justification on why you need it.
Garmin has a free download that is available only on its nüvi GPS system, its called ecoroute. Ecoroute measures how environmentally friendly your driving is, rating you between 1 and 100 so you can see how well you are doing. It gives you real time feedback, which ideally saves you money and the environment all at once.
The Koolatron Compact Cooler gives you a place to put those cold ones and keep them cold, or a sandwich, or a … heck this thing is a refrigerator for your car! It was designed to fit in a tight place like between seats or behind one of them. It plugs into your cigarette lighter and keeps food 40 degrees cooler than the outside temperature.
Now if someone can just make a car stove to go along with the refrigerator we would all be set, for now we will have to be satisfied with frying eggs on the hood. In a later article I will be taking a look at some of the cool spy gadgets available on the market.