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article imageOp-Ed: Car gadgets that will supercharge your ride

By Daniel Taibleson     Dec 11, 2013 in Technology
The National Automobile Dealers Association said October saw the sale of more than 1.2 million vehicles, up 10 percent from the same time last year.
Buying a car is exciting, and making it yours by accessorizing it with the latest gadgets is the best part of the deal. Check out these gadgets and get ready to make your list of “I gotta get one of those.”
Can’t Live Without a Remote Control
Install the Viper SmartStart GPS for $399 in your car and be in full control. Start your car and lock/unlock it from your smartphone or tablet. Set up alerts so it will alert you to open doors, temperature inside the car and a few diagnostics. Open and close windows, and operate the radio from your Bluetooth-connected phone. The GPS unit warns you about speed zones and when to move into the next lane when coming up to an intersection. You’re in control with this Viper.
Demand Digital Audio
When you’re looking for deals on pre-owned cars, don’t worry about factory-installed digital radio. Put it in yourself. The Pure Highway In-car Digital Radio plugs into your 12v power socket and sits on the dash or attaches to the windshield. Listen to digital stations or patch in your favorite tunes from your iPhone. For $145, go digital.
Fully Bluetooth-Enabled Car
The SuperTooth HD speakerphone for $129 puts high-tech in your ride. With two speakers to play your digital tunes and two microphones to capture your phone conversation, this gives you hands-free convenience with HD quality sound. You can set up voice recognition to answer your phone and control certain functions with your voice.
Bond With Your Car
Know what’s going on with your car with the Delphi Vehicle Diagnostics module, $249. Plug it into the OBD port on your car and it will talk with your onboard computer to gather diagnostic data. The mobile app for your iOS or Android device lets you communicate with the Delphi. Lock or unlock the car. Open the trunk. Set an alert that warns you when the car has been moved from a specific area. See the current fluid levels and battery status.
Get a Heads Up
You don’t have to be an F16 pilot to control your ride with a heads-up display. The Pioneer NavGate HUD creates a 30-inch virtual display a few feet in front of you. It displays GPS navigation information, speeds, intersection camera alerts, time, ETA, distance and other data of your choosing. Sensors adjust the display based on the brightness of the day and uses night vision colors so the display doesn’t distract. Unfortunately, it's available only in Europe, and Wired.com says no American release date has been set. It’s a bit pricey at $800 USD, but it’s still cheaper than an F16.
Get Your Own Black Box
Similar to aircraft black boxes, the iCarBlackBox is an iPhone app that records your driving activity. It tracks speed and data such as sudden braking or swerving. If you have an accident, your black box will have the details. This 99-cent app on iTunes might help prove who was at fault in an accident. It could be the best 99 cents you’ve ever invested.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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