DriveHD Dash Camera Dual View System from Cobra Review

I think it is going to be very clear that all cars will be complete with a camera as a standard feature. It just makes a lot of sense if you think about it, because why wouldn’t you take advantage of this technology? For those that don’t have the camera now, you might be interested in the DriveHD Dash Camera with Dual View System from Cobra.

Yes, this is dual views, as there is one camera for the front (1080p) and one for the rear (720p). Both of these are on a loop for recording continuously, and there is a G-Sensor for detecting impacts and there is even a parking mode for recording when motion is detected.

Speaking of detection, this product has lane departure and forward collision warnings to let the driver know if you are drifting out of your lane and even if there is an object coming.

So is it easy to install? Well, there is an adhesive windshield mount and the front camera goes, and the back one can mount as easily. It includes a 16 GB SD made for the footage, and the product comes with some video editing software as well. It might not be Movavi, but hey.

If you want to purchase the DriveHD (Dash 2216D), you can purchase from the Cobra website for about $209.95.

FIXD: The Device That Can Save You in Car Repairs

A few years ago when TechnoMark and I were driving home from CES, our check engine light came on. We ignored it and continued to attempt to make it to our destination. Unfortunately, our van broke down on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere. We got it towed to the nearest town, and would soon learn that the engine had blown. If we had FIXD back then, we might have saved our vehicle.

What is FIXD?

FIXD is a small device that plugs into your vehicle’s OBD 2 port, and combined with the free app for iOS and Android, you will have knowledge of what’s going on when your light comes on. This little gadget will save you a lot of money and headaches when it comes to vehicle repairs, and you can know if your maintenance guy is trying to fleece you.

How Will FIXD Help Me?

If you have a vehicle that is a 1996 model or newer, it is most likely to work for you. FIXD can scan for more than 7,000 problems that can be giving you a check engine light, and notify you exactly what is the problem. Sometimes a check engine light will come on for small things like a gas cap not screwed on all the way. If it’s something little like that, you can use the app to turn off the check engine light.

It can also turn off other lights that might come on your panel like TPMS, ABS, Airbag, and Maintenance and Stability Control. This feature will really come in handy for us when the tire pressure light comes on after we change our tires to snow tires. It definitely saves the hassle of having to drive to the shop and ask them to turn it off. It will also send notifications to remind you to take your car in for an oil change or maintenance.

Set Up

The app is simple to download. You do need to register to get it started, but it’s pretty painless. The app will show where to plug the sensor in for your particular vehicle if you don’t already know where the OBD 2 port is. Plug it in, pair it up with the app, and you’re ready to go! The sensor runs off the power of your car, so you don’t need to charge it or anything. If you have multiple sensors, you can put them in your other cars and assign them all in the one single app.

How to Buy FIXD

A single FIXD sensor sells for $59 plus shipping and handling on their website. But those who want them for multiple cars can get a special deal- $88 for two, plus free US shipping and handling. If you want three, you can get them for $118 plus free US shipping and handling. They pretty much pay for themselves, since many automotive places will charge to hook your vehicle up to their computer to figure out what’s wrong. There’s also a 30 day money back guarantee, so you really can’t go wrong. We give this product a thumbs up, and look forward to have better protection and knowledge about potential car problems.

Thanks to FIXD for sending us this device for free in exchange for our fair and unbiased review.

The iOttie Easy Smart Tap 2 and Wireless Fast Charging Car and Desk Mount

We have reviewed an iOttie product in the past, which was a selfie stick. Today we have the chance to review more from iOttie. The first product is the Easy Smart Tap 2 tablet mounting system. The other product is a car and desk mount for your smartphone.

Here is what we think about the Easy Smart Tap 2.

This device is useful. Each knob adjusts to help move the arm up and down, swivels your device slightly to each side, or tilts it up and down at different angles for optimal viewing. When you get it at just the right angle, you can tighten the knobs to help keep it sturdily in place.

Putting it together out of the box wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be. Most of it was pretty straight forward, and I didn’t have to read the instructions. There is a socket that connects that area where the 360 knob is to the tablet mount. In the socket, there’s a little tab that you have to pull out before trying to join them. I didn’t figure it out until I watched a video of someone else putting it together.

The button above that is the button you push to adjust the arms to fit around your tablet device. The device has to be at least 4.5″, and no bigger than 7.5″ to fit. There’s a nifty little guide on the side of the box that allows you to see if your device works.

I’ll let this video explain how to put the whole thing together. It’s somewhat complicated, and the instructions included are tiny and not easy to follow along with, and much easier to follow a video.

The video shows how to mount it on a surface. There is a sticky 3m pad that is suggested for use in mounting in a car, but many people say that it doesn’t work and they just use the sticky suction cup.

This mount retails for $44.95.

Moving on to a different mount for your cellphones. This one is great, because it has a wireless charging system so you can charge your phone while it is mounted to your dash or windshield.

The Easy One Touch Wireless system will mount to desks, dashboards and windshields, and then when you have reached your destination, you push those little side levers in with one hand and those surrounding arms pop open to release your phone. As long as that button is sticking out, when you lay your phone on it, the arms will snap right back on to your phone.

The Qi enabled charging cord is included, and will give a wireless fast charge to Qi enabled devices. Devices that are not Qi enabled can still be charged wirelessly. This is probably the best cell phone mount I’ve reviewed so far, and gets the GeekChurch stamp of approval. You can buy it on the iOttie website for $54.95.

Disclaimer- iOttie sent us these products to review for free in exchange for a fair and unbiased report.

Review of ToughTested Jolt All Purpose Jump Starter

If you have ever been in an area where no one is around and your car breaks down, you might need a device like the one I’m about to review. It’s called the Jolt by ToughTested, and it’s a flashlight that can charge your phone AND jumpstart your car!

Now, ToughTested makes a lot of products from chargers to Powerbanks, solar products and headsets + more. Their products seem to be geared to those who want heavy duty stuff. This flashlight is no exception. It’s very heavy duty- the metal strong enough to break windows.

The bottom of the flashlight opens to reveal an input(5V/2A) to plug in the micro USB cable(included). It has the output(5V/2A) to use to charge your phone/tablet/or other micro USB item. An led indicator lights up to tell you how much battery life you have left. It charged my Samsung Galaxy S7 fully and still had 40% left.

 

The 12V output is where you connect the included jumper cables. These items, and also a little USB car charger comes in a handsome carrying bag with two zippered compartments to separate all the items.

The jumper cables have instructions connected to the cable that say you need to have over 3 lights to jumpstart your vehicle, so you will probably want to make sure that it is charged every time you go out.

Doing this review, I learned a little bit about portable jump starters from this site which suggests that you don’t leave your portable jump starter in your vehicle- especially if it’s extremely cold. The article also suggests that the jump starter might not help you if your battery is completely dead, or has very low cold cranking amps. So it’s a good idea to bring this in out of the cold, and make sure that it is charged frequently. Maybe

We haven’t tested this out on a car battery, but will change the review when we have the chance to do so. So far, it’s been proven to be a nice bright flashlight with 1,000 lumen, and there is supposedly a waterproof level of IP63, however, the safety instructions say not to expose the product to rain or water.

Speaking of flashlight, I couldn’t figure out how to get the 5 different modes going (low, medium, blinding, seizure-inducer (or strobe), and SOS mode). My 14 year old figured it out for me, though. Just press lightly on the power button after you have turned it on, and it will rotate through the modes. I would suggest that the company send a little more detailed instruction book, but the jump starter cables do have good instructions on how to work them connected to the wire.

Here is a video showing the product at work…

All-in-all a nice product to have in case of an emergency. It does have a big price tag of $189.99, but the portable jump starter article that I linked does say that the best ones are more expensive, so maybe that’s a factor.

Disclaimer: ToughTested sent us this product for free to review in exchange for a fair and unbiased review.

Our Review of Nite Ize Steelie Freemount Windshield Kit and Tabletop Stand Component

If you live in California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia,  Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, Guam or the U.S. Virgin Islands  and have a cell phone, you probably know that it is illegal to hold your phone while driving. But what is a person to do when using their Maps app to navigate? Maybe you want to be like all the people who make videos for social media in their cars? This windshield mounting kit by Nite Ize could be the perfect solution!

The Nite Ize Steelie Freemount Windshield is composed of a couple different parts.  You get the windshield mount which is a metal ball on the end of a suction cup extension.

This attaches easily to the windshield, and adjusts for the viewing angle you desire. It also has a locking lever so you can lock it and release it quickly and easily. The Freemount bracket adjusts to fit most phones from 2.24 inches to 3.54 inches wide.

This kit can be purchased for $44.99 on the Nite Ize website. Here’s a video that explains how the system works:

There are other Steelie Nite Ize solutions for mounting your phone. We also received the tabletop stand component to review. A pretty straightforward system- this stand sits on your desk or table, and can hold a phone or tablet on the magnetic ball.

This system costs $29.99 on the Nite Ize Site and can conveniently tilt your phone at different angles. The downside is that the magnetic attachment on the back of your phone becomes permanent, but if you have the Freemount from the above kit, you could attach it to the Steelie on the tabletop stand. TaDa!

We were sent these products to review free of charge in exchange for an unbiased review, and the verdict from us is that these are both very useful products for those who want a system to hold their phones hands-free.

 

 

RapidX DualX and X5 Rapid Car Charger

I haven’t heard of RapidX before, and the company website makes it look like they specialize in gaming chairs. However, I did have a a chance to try out two of their newest products with the DualX Dual Charger and the X5 Rapid Car Charger.

RapidX DualX Dual Charger

I’m pretty certain that you have seen a product like the DualX before with a plug-in to the car’s charger port (formally a cigarette lighter) with twin USB ports. You can see the design of it, and not only does it fit in the car charger, but the wall charger as well.

The DualX has an output for 2.4 A Max, and the prongs can fold into the DualX itself. It certainly is something that is needed by most consumers, as who doesn’t need a charging plug?

You should be able to purchase the DualX Dual Charger from the RapidX site for about $14.99 in black/blue, white/red, and white/orange.

RapidX X5 Rapid Car Charger

The RapidX X5 is one of those car chargers that will give you an extra USB ports for your vehicle because, as I said before, who doesn’t need something like that. Oh yeah, the five ports are different as it has two with 2.4 A output , and three with 2.0 A of output.

It definitely is useful as it is really has a very thin cable. As you can tell, there really isn’t much to say about these products, but just because something might be average, doesn’t mean that it isn’t needed, or even extraordinary.

You can find the Rapid X5 Car Charger on sale for $24.99 on the RapidX site in many different colors.

BMW Unveils the Car of the Future (Today) with Vision Next 100 Concept Car

BMW+Next+100+concept+gallery+2-edSo, I think we all know that technology is changing so much, that I can’t tell what the next car will look like. BMW has that vision covered with the Vision Next 100 concept car which is a Car of the Future, for today.

So, what does car of the future look like? Well, it is set up for autonomous driving. It has what is called Ease Mode, which can retract the steering wheel and can move the seat around for autonomous driving. I guess in the future, all cars will become limos.

This BMW Vision 100 has some AI called the “Companion” which is some kind of orb that can communicate information to pedestrians when the car is in self-driving mode. This orb will grow green when pedestrians can safely cross in front of it.

There is also a feature known as “Alive Geometry” that describes helpful information flowing from the dashboard to the connected windshield. Yes, this is a place where a a windshield is a computer screen, so you can surf the net while your car drives itself.

Yes, this is the future. I don’t know if this is the Vision Next 100 will be for the next 100 years, but we will see.

Source

The Automatic App and Adapter

AutomaticIt really isn’t very common that you see some kind Automotive accessory tech that does so much, the the Automatic App plus Adapter is that. As you might have guessed from the image here, this Automatic adapter plugs right into that standard diagnostic port that is in most cars since after 1996. I don’t know the name of it, but I’ve had to access it before.

Then there is a mobile app that can do so much. You know that check engine light that shines? The last time that happened to me, I had someone at Auto-Zone do that. I can now do it myself with this.

The adapter has a built-in speaker to remind the driver to go smoother and more efficient. It will even warn of easing off the brake or gas pedals to avoid high speeds, and there are progress reports of driving each week. There is also some low-fuel warnings that will work for select cars.

By the way, if you should get into an accident, the Automatic can bring some human help if it detects a severe collision. This involves a professional agent to assist, alert local emergency services, as well as informing the loved ones.

Then there is another feature such as the ability to locate a parked car with walking directions on a map. It can even work on a smartwatch mobile app or even the Pebble.

Did I mention that there is an Automatic Web Dashboard? It is good for spotting trends, sorting trips, and then exporting the data, which is good for tax reporting and mileage.

All this, and there is a “Do Not Disturb” mode to set an Android phone to be disabled while behind the wheel.

Oh good gosh, there is a lot that can be done with this Automatic App and Adapter! It can be purchased on the Automatic website for about $99.95.

Black and Decker Auto Flex Vac and Auto Pivot Vac

Black and Decker Auto Flex VacI’m sure that if you hear the words “Black and Decker” you are going think about power tools. I had the chance to try out two of their products, and they were both vacuum cleaners, both of them are essentially designed for cars.

The Black and Decker Auto Flex Vac has a very compact design, and it has a 16 foot long extension cord to fit is designed for the 12 V Cigarette Lighter socket. It has “cyclonic action” as well as a long crevice tool for getting in between the seats. It also comes with some other accessories like a washable pleated filter and a flip up brush.

I was pleased to review this, but I was not able to find a price for it on the company website. It was able to find it on Amazon for $69.92.

Black and Decker Auto Pivot VacSo, I also had a chance to try out a similar product with this Auto Pivot Vac, which has a lot of similar features.

The cord is a 12 V adapter for a cigarette lighter, but this one can fold in half for very convenient storage. It also has the “cyclonic action” for sucking up dirt, dust, and debris. There is a lot of accessories like a flexible hose, flip-up brush, and an extendable crevice tool.

Once again, I was not able to find this on the Black and Decker site, but Amazon has it for $64.49.

The speeC-EZ from iCreation

speec-EZI recently had a chance to get to know a company called iCreation, and I would highly recommend checking out their products if you haven’t already. They now have a Kickstarter project that is called the speeC-EZ.

In case you are stumbling on the pronunciation, it is pronounced “Speakeasy”. You know, those places during Prohibition that sold illegal alcoholic beverages. In this case, the speeC-EZ is made to prevent car accidents, specifically those caused by distracted driving.

I think we all know that people being on their smartphones have caused some serious accidents, so the speeC-EZ is made to pair with the smartphone so you can control it with your voice. This means you can keep your phone in your glovebox with all the gloves, and you can send/receive texts, make/receive calls, send/receive emails, play tunes, and get some navigation.

As you can see, it mounts in the car’s charging port, and this is what powers it. Then there is a noise cancellation microphone that will turn on as long as it is plugged in.

If you want this, you can pledge for it on the Kickstarter page and help them achieve their $50,000 goal. I have no idea when it will be available to the general public for purchase.