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Compare Backup Sensors & Cameras to ParkFX for the Most Reliable Backup Warning Technology
Not all reversing aids are equal. The sensing technology and the indicating method are critical to your driving safety.
How A Park Assist System Alerts You
One option is video, which at first seems like a great choice. But one major flaw with having a video camera affixed to the back of your car with a monitor on your dashboard is
that it also forces you to look forward while backing up. That can disturb your perception, your reaction time, and feel very unnatural. They are also extremely expensive, and you'll pay thousands
of dollars to have a video system attached to your car, whether from the dealer or an aftermarket supplier.
Compare that to other bargain basement devices which actually have LED displays (little red lights) on your dashboard. These are cumbersome -- almost useless -- for much the same
reason as video: when you drive in reverse, you naturally look behind you, and you'll never see the little red lights. They are also hard to read in bright sunlight.
Some other bargain technologies use a tone which beeps more rapidly as you get closer to an obstacle. You can at least hear the relative distance just by listening to the beeps,
but you have to practice a bit to really understand how far you are from danger.
That's why an audible voice sensor is best. It tells you in a spoken voice exactly how far away you are. Not only do you not have to awkwardly
look forward at your dashboard,
you'll know without guessing how much further you can safely back up.
How A Reversing Aid Detects Objects
If you've never seen or used a reversing aid, you might be surprised at how technically advanced they actually can be.
Reversing aids use a variety of technologies to sense an object behind the car. Some units use Doppler radar, and others use infrared sensors, but by far the most accurate method of detection
is the one the U.S. Navy uses on its submarines: sonar.
Sonar can operate in any weather, including direct sunlight or rain. And it doesn't require that the car be moving in order to sense an obstruction.
Mobile Electronics Retailers - Get the Hottest Car Gadget This Year
LaneFX is a great addition to your store's new product selection. It's a brand new automotive safety system that drives new customer segments to your store, like senior
citizens and first-time drivers. LaneFX beats blind spot mirrors, radar detectors, and virtually any car gadget out there!
Don't be blind to cheap aftermarket blind spot mirrors, driver safety is affected by distorted side view mirrors. Check our the LaneFX retailer
That's what the gadget and new mobile technology media has been saying about LaneFX. It's the ultimate gearhead accessory for
your car or truck. The latest car gadget is now fully-customizable, guaranteed to be 100% universal and best of all, there is no car gadget that's cooler than the one that could save your life. LaneFX tops
the latest and hottest car gadgets for its innovation, invention, wide appeal and
Why Turn Your Head Away From Traffic? Turn Your Side Mirror Instead!
Motor vehicles rely on two mirrors mounted on each side of the vehicle to uncover objects (including other vehicles such as passing or trailing traffic) next to
them and behind them.
These vehicle power side mirrors are based on a design that is incapable of displaying, or “detecting”,
a vehicle occupying a directly adjacent lane and approaching the reference vehicle from the rear (such as the situation of a faster vehicle passing a slower vehicle).
The overall phenomenon of a vehicle in an adjacent lane becoming invisible in a driver’s side mirror is known as the “Blind Spot”, or “Blind Zone.”
The location of a traditional Blind Spot is denoted in Figure 1 in red. The size and position of the area constituting a Blind Spot Zone in a given vehicle is based on the following factors:
- The distance of the position of the side mirror to the driver’s eyes,
- The width of the mirror surface,
- The width of the object behind the reference vehicle (in an adjacent lane),
- The driver-specified position of the blind side mirror,
- The inflection of the mirror’s reflective surface (concave / convex mirror).
The Blind Spot phenomenon is pervasive among virtually all passenger cars, light and medium trucks and vans, and all sport utility vehicles. Some medium and heavy duty vehicles,
resort to mounting multiple side view mirrors to alleviate this problem.
LaneFX Standard Features to Make Every Lane Change Safer
Q. Even though LaneFX is ultra simple concept, you've managed to make LaneFX a very feature rich product. Correct?
A. Absolutely. Let me give you a brief walk through of the features and add-on options of the LaneFX system:
- First we talked about the universal fit of LaneFX.
- Second, ease of installation (which you have to remember quick installations mean less cost of ownership to the customer
and faster seamless installations mean higher customer satisfaction). The way we were about to simplified installation on hundreds if not thousands of power mirror systems is by using an Intelligent
Learn Technology. So all the installer has to do is hook up a set of 3 wires on either side of LaneFX module. And then all the installer has to do is start learn mode and the unit "learns" the
wiring setup of the vehicle and configures itself on that basis. No complex wiring diagram, no programming required.
- Third, all mirror movements are fully customizable at installation. We wanted to make LaneFX as responsive to the
driver and tailored to the driver's preferences as possible. So with every LaneFX unit, each driver can customize how far the mirror opens up, how long it pauses when it gets there, and even
how fast the mirror should move. You can control your preferences separately for the right and left mirror.
- LaneFX is intended to be a concealed unit either under the dash or in the trunk. So these adjustments should be made at installation and you can always tweak them or change occasionally after
- Another feature we offer in the system is control of both mirrors. So you control the left and right mirror separately or concurrently.
Q. And all of these features you mentioned are standard in every LaneFX box?
A. Yes. That's correct.
Q. But I also understand that you have a number of optional add-on components that a customer can choose to further enhance his/hers LaneFX system.
A. Our team has worked very diligently to research what consumers would like to have in their complete LaneFX system. Let me share with you a quick list of what some of these options are:
- First is a very inexpensive add-on component we have that we think is going to be very popular, especially among entry level domestic vehicles is the optional Mirror Speed Boost.
With this component owners of vehicles with slow moving power mirrors can safely boost their mirror movement speeds up to 200% of OEM speed.
This will provide drivers with a way to ensure that LaneFX movement is responsive to their driving needs. All of the mirror speeds are customizable by the driver from 80% to 200% of OEM speed,
and those adjustments can be done separately for left and right mirrors.
- Second we have a great optional component that's quite frankly is a driver awareness system in and of itself: ParkFX. ParkFX is an active
park assist and curb exposure system that uses your side mirrors to expose the parking boundaries around your vehicle as your backing up. Much in the same LaneFX moves your mirror outward
to expose the blind spot next to you and behind you, ParkFX tilts the blind spot mirror downward when you put the vehicle in reverse to expose either
the parking lines let's say if you were in a mall parking lot, or more importantly to expose the curb in parallel parking situations. When you take the car out of reverse, the mirror comes
back to its original position, every single time. Just like LaneFX, ParkFX is universal and fully-customizable to the driver's preferences. The
system works on any vehicle, new or old, domestic or import, manual or automatic transmission. And you can choose to have ParkFX control the left, right or both mirrors. And to be complete,
you can also configure at installation how much ParkFX should tilt each of these mirrors when the vehicle is backing up. So for a big SUV, you can choose the blind spot mirrors to tilt down
farther than say someone who drives a small sedan. Everything is universal and fully-customizable to your needs.
- Thirdly is an add-on component we are very proud of: our Turn Signal Link integration kit. I put my blinker on
and that activates LaneFX to show me my blind spot before I change lanes? Yes exactly. And you can also configure the Turn Signal Link integration kit to activate only when the vehicle is moving
above certain speed, like over 55mph to have it only activate on when you're on the highway, or say over 35mph in an urban city setting.
- The forth in our options list is a plug-and-play wireless controls kit. We've heard time and time again that drivers would ideally like the LaneFX controls at the finger tips,
just like your horn or turn signal stalk. this tiny module I am holding is an example of a left-hand wireless control. So we designed this wireless kit so that installers never have to worry
about running wires to the steering wheel (which is a no no) and to give the customer to place the controls anywhere. The wireless controls kit includes two controls for left and right and is
designed to fit behind one of your steering-wheel spokes. The placement is meant to avoid competing with the increasing number of OEM buttons on the front of the steering wheel. Also the placement
behind the top spoke make the LaneFX control within the reach of a finger tip without having to move a hand off the steering wheel regardless in you drive with your hands in the 10-to-2 position
or racing style.
- One more plug-and-play optional component which is our Speed Sensitivity Mode. This is an add-on component that integrates with OBDII port of virtually any vehicle and continuously
reads the vehicle speed. The LaneFX module is pre-programmed to take advantage of this option and it then produces more dynamic mirror
movement based on the vehicle speed. This ensures an ever greater degree of responsiveness to the driver's needs in real-time. So LaneFX moves the mirror faster at say 70mph than at 55mph? Exactly
right, and it also pauses less when it reaches its maximum expansion angle at higher speeds.
Are All Blind Spot Mirrors the Same?
The areas most commonly referred to as blind spots are the rear quarter blind spots, areas towards the rear of the vehicle on both sides. Vehicles in the adjacent lanes of the road may fall into
these blind spots, and a driver may be unable to see them using only the car's mirrors.
Other areas that are sometimes called blind spots are those that are too low to see behind and in front of a vehicle. Also, in cases where side vision is hindered, areas to the left or right can
become blind spots as well.
Beware of Setting Your Mirrors "Wide"
Mirror alignment is often done incorrectly by drivers. There is a tendency to want to provide context for the side mirror view by having the rear of the driver's own vehicle in the mirror frame.
When improperly aligned the side view mirrors widen the perspective offered by rear view mirror, but still not providing full coverage of the blind spot areas around SUV's, light trucks, minivans
and even commercial vans.
Even with a head-turn, the driver should continue to look forward, in the direction the car is traveling. This is accomplished by using the correct blind spot mirrors or blind
spot detection system. Exaggerated head-turns, where the driver actually faces backward for a moment to check the blind spot, are dangerous because the vehicle in front
may come to a sudden stop just at that instant resulting in a rear-end collision.
Gadget Gifts: The Must-Have Gadgets of 2006 Holida Season
Looking for great tech gear? Check out these magnificent seven.
Santa isn't the only one who's been making a list and checking it twice. Over the last year hundreds of gizmos have passed through Chez Freak, but only a handful inspire sincere gadget lust.
These devices all share certain traits: They serve a real need (read: not yet another iPod accessory). They're innovative. Most important, they're simple to use. Plug them in, turn them on, and
they work. The way it should be.
iRobot Dirt Dog
Meet man's new best friend. iRobot's Dirt Dog is a sweeper designed for use in basements and garages. Just push the "Clean" button
and stand back. It scuttles about picking up wood shavings, loose screws, and other weekend workshop detritus. The $130 price is worth howling about, too.
With the Wi-Fi-enabled MusicGremlin, you can download songs from any hotspot and then legally swap them with your buddies online.
Sure, navigating through songs could be easier, and $300 (plus $15 a month for the music service) is pricey for a device with only 8GB of storage. But being able to download virtually any song,
anytime, anywhere, is wicked cool.
Pure Digital Point and Shoot Camcorder
This pocket-size digital videocam lets you capture 30 minutes of decent-looking video in its 512MB of flash memory and then transfer the clips
to your PC via a clever USB "arm" that swings out from the base of the unit. The camera's built-in software allows you to manage videos, e-mail downsized clips to friends, or share
your masterpieces on Google Video with just a few clicks. The features are bare-bones--only 2X zoom, 640-by-480 clips, and minimal playback options on a 1.5-inch LCD--but then again, so is the
PowerSquid Surge3000 Calimari
Even I find it odd how excited I am about this $80 power strip. Yes, it really looks like a squid: Six tentaclelike plugs extend
to handle power bricks without blocking other sockets, and its surge protection (up to 3240 joules) keeps your pricey gear from getting fried. Two plugs even light up so you can find them in
the dark. It's ideal for geeks with too many gadgets and nowhere to plug them.
This device redefines the electronic book. Sony's glare-free screen and E Ink technology are amazing, the unit is push-button easy to use, and its 7-by-5-inch size strikes the perfect
compromise between a PDA and a laptop. The $350 Reader can hold around 80 books in its 64MB of memory, and more when you add a Sony Memory
Stick or an SD Card. Sony launched with about 10,000 titles in its proprietary e-book format (the unit also reads text, Acrobat, and Word files). Pricing and availability of titles will vary,
but the gizmo itself is terrific. (For details, see our review.)
One wire--that's all the Zvox 325 ($349) needs to produce booming audio from your TV, MP3 player, or DVD machine. Just plug in
this VCR-size speaker unit and connect it to the device's headphone jack. Two knobs let you control volume and switch from stereo to surprisingly good surround sound. It's simplicity itself.
I got this robotics kit for my 7-year-old daughter, but soon I was fighting her for it. PicoCricket ($250) combines Lego pieces
and fuzzy pipe cleaners with sophisticated light, motion, and sound sensors. Kids build their own toys and then program them to respond to stimuli by dragging and dropping "PicoBlocks"--brightly
colored shapes that represent different chunks of object-oriented code. So, for example, you can build a flower that plays music when the sun rises, or a birthday cake that lights up when you
touch it. You'll need about 30 minutes with Pico's quick-start guide to master the basics, but far longer before you're willing to let your kids have at it.
A Merry Geekmas to all, and to all a good night.