This is part of a series of articles that looks at entrepreneurs hoping to get their ideas off the ground through crowdfunding. At the time of writing, each of these innovations is currently seeking funding.
The Internet of Things is already making great headway in connecting home appliances to owners’ smartphones, and consumer vehicles are set to be the next big thing to go digital if demonstrations at this year’s CES are anything to go by. Currently seeking funding through Kickstarter, OBDLink MX WiFi is a small device that enables drivers to use a variety of maintenance tools and dashboard displays through their mobile.
The pocket-sized widget can be installed in around three minutes, using the OBD-II interface that has been a standard in all vehicles sold in the US since 1996. The adapter essentially makes the data that is sent to the car’s on-board computer available by letting drivers access it through a range of open-source apps. Currently, the OBDLink MX WiFi enables car owners to monitor their gas mileage, remotely lock and unlock their doors, diagnose problems and create a digital dashboard or HUD display. The device’s open architecture means that third-party developers can create their own apps for the system. The video below offers more information about the adapter:
The OBDLink MX WiFi — which can be pre-ordered through the Kickstarter from USD 79 — does not require drivers to pay a subscription fee or invest in a new vehicle that offers similar facilities built-in. Are there other consumer goods that could take advantage of cheap adapters to turn dumb objects into smart, connected products?