Top five consumer auto products from the 2014 SEMA Show
Each year, it seems like SEMA — the auto aftermarket parts industry’s premiere trade show — gets bigger and bigger. 2014 was no exception, with over 135,000 people flooding the Las Vegas Convention Centre and Westgate Resort grounds to see the latest products companies had to offer. While a lot of the things on display are intended for commercial use, there are plenty of new and innovative items that would be of interested to the average retailer buyer. From a digital front license plate to a dehumidifier for your car, here are our top 5 picks.
LCD Vanity Plate
With virtually all controls inside modern vehicles going digital these days, it was only a matter of time before the same applied to the exterior. The LCD Vanity Plate is a small screen, the size of a North American license plate, designed to fit on the bumper where your front plate would normally reside. After a simple wiring procedure, you can load any graphic from an SD card that will then be displayed on the screen. The vendor booth had examples of business information, sports team and music group logos and even a virtual representation of a license plate.
Universal Car Remote
It’s bound to happen sooner or later. You’ve dropped your car’s remote fob for the 100th time, or you’ve misplaced the spare in a move. Rather than going to the dealer for an expensive replacement, why not give the Universal Car Remote a try? Designed and assembled in the United States, the universal device works on over 1,000 vehicle models, made between 1997 and 2014, from over 19 major auto manufacturers like Chevrolet, Ford, Mazda, Nissan, Toyota, Infiniti and more. Setup is easy and requires no computers or specialized tools.
PAPAGO! GoSafe 520
There has been an explosion of in-vehicle video recorders as of late, and with good reason — they can be your witness in the unfortunate event of an accident, or be your eyes when you’re away from the car. If you’re trying to capture fine detail like a set of license plate numbers, quality is important. Fortunately, PAPAGO! has just released the GoSafe 520, the first ultra-high definition reco-rder on the market. A 3-inch widescreen displays video in 2560x1080, 21:9 resolution and the unit features built-in GPS and a G-sensor.
Zarpax Auto Dehumidifier LV-A300
Have you ever gotten into your car on a frosty or wet day to find all the interior windows impossibly fogged up? That’s where the reusable dehumidifier by Zarpax comes in. Designed for use in automobiles, the small pillow-shaped tool sucks in moisture from the interior and prevents fogging, mildew and musty odours. When the water-retention pouch inside is full, a Smart Dot Indicator on the front turns from blue to pink telling the owner it needs to be dried out. Just toss the dehumidifier in the microwave for six minutes and it’s good to go again.
When a car alarm simply isn’t enough to keep your car safe, it might be time to invest in a Zeder Lock. Originally based in Europe, the company finally made its North American debut at SEMA. The lock works by blocking a vehicle’s steering column, thus making it impossible to push or tow it away. Constructed out of metal, the system is supposedly unbreakable, installed mostly out of sight and is operated using a key. Zeder says manufacturers like Volkswagen have been selling the lock as a dealer option overseas for years.