Saturday, May 30, 2020

Top 5 Auto Gadgets

By Benjamin Yong, 20 Sep, 2016
  • Top 5 Auto Gadgets

If you’ve recently sat in a vehicle made in the last few years, you’ve probably noticed how computerized and connected they’ve become. Many models now offer functions like GPS-based emergency calling or smartphone connectivity so that you perform a variety of electronically assisted tasks. Whether your car can do these things or not, third party manufacturers are coming out with their own gadgets that rival original equipment manufacturer (OEM) automotive high-tech equipment – below are six of DARPAN’s favourites. 


Ricoh Theta S 360-degree camera

The Ricoh Theta S takes action cams to the next level with 360-degree video capture in high definition. Affix this to the roof or trunk of your car using any tripod mount attachment kit and record up to 65 minutes of stunning scenery during a road trip or racing action at the track. Features an F2.0 lens, 30 frames-per-second shooting, and 8 gigabytes of onboard memory. The Theta smartphone app has a live view mode so you can see what the camera sees. Available for $449.99 at


Forrader C3 wireless car charger 

If you have a fancy new Qi-standard wireless charging enabled smartphone – like select Nexus, LG, HTC, Motorola and Nokia models – the Forrader C3 will allow you to top up the charge by just inserting it into the slot located at the top of the unit. Supporting a maximum mobile device screen size of 5.3 inches, the Forrader fits conveniently into conventional vehicle cup holders and is powered via a 12-volt adapter. Available for $65.99 at


Tile Bluetooth tracker

This tiny square tracker tag can go almost anywhere – think on the same ring as your car keys. You can also tuck it discreetly inside, say a wallet or stick one on a laptop or tablet you’re always leaving behind somewhere. Through the companion Apple or Android app, users can “call” their tag(s) that will emit a loud melodic sound to aid in locating it. One tile costs about $32, or save 30 per cent by purchasing a set of four. Available at


Pioneer AppRadio 4

No Apple CarPlay or Android Auto compatibility in your vehicle? That’s not a problem with Pioneer’s AppRadio 4 infotainment system designed for iPhones and Google-powered devices. Fits into double-din dash spaces, the 6.2-inch capacitive touchscreen allows access to your smartphone calendar, music library, maps, text messages and more once you connect everything up with a dedicated cable (sold separately). It also supports Siri Eyes Free voice commands. Available for $819.99 at


GEKO Smart Whistle

Sometimes, dangerous situations can arise on the road. Fortunately, help is easily at hand now that the GEKO Smart Whistle has just been released. Simply download and install the proprietary app, pair your whistle and then select the contacts you wish to be notified in case of emergencies. After that, blowing on the mouthpiece or holding the top button for two seconds will call (Android only), text and email the selected recipients, delivering a message notifying them of your current location. Available for $64.85 at


Koolatron P-27 Voyager cooler

Never be on a road trip without a cold drink close at hand ever again. The Koolatron P-27 plugs right into the cabin 12-volt adapter and draws less electricity than the parking lights, and is not affected by movement from driving. Conveniently, flipping a switch on the cord turns the Voyager into a food warmer so you can keep a meal at the perfect temperature while en route to your next destination. No ice is required, and the cooler can fit up to 48 soda cans. Available for $202.49 at


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