Automotive
Sync your ride up with the miaLinkup auto dongle

It’s surprising to think about how even the newest cars can’t boast the amount of technology seen in smartphones. Over the years, this has been reflected in the union between the two: cradles, connectors, and all kinds of other accessories have made the car a smartphone’s second home. Unfortunately, they also create clutter that ultimately ruins a car’s interior aesthetic and contributes to a more dangerous environment that requires driver attention at the wrong moments.

The team behind the miaLinkup ultra-long wireless module wants to get rid of this unnecessary mess by combining all of these features and more into one compact device. The device takes the form of a a dongle for the On-Board Diagnostic Port II, or the OBD, and utilizes Bluetooth 4.1 to offer complete control of a vehicle with a smartphone. With the miaLinkup installed, things like streaming music wirelessly, unlocking doors, or rolling up windows are all possible in vehicles previously lacking the technology. In addition, an onboard GPS can help lost drivers to their vehicle and prevents unauthorized movement, a tire pressure monitoring system helps avoid unfortunate blowouts, and real time usage and diagnostic reports help users save money over the long run.

The device needs a Bluetooth extender to function at ranges up to 2,500 feet or up to 1,000 feet with buildings in the way, but in either case, its versatility can’t be understated. To top it off, miaLinkup requires no monthly fee for this impressive set of functionality, so interested backers need only spend $199 for the device along with four tire sensors. Provided the campaign reaches its $50,000 goal, the product has an estimated delivery date of September 2015.

Currently, there are a plethora of OBD devices that provide things like GPS tracking or engine monitoring, but the combination of functionality in the miaLinkup is rare, especially considering its open API. A prior Indiegogo campaign, the Drivebot, is similar in that it offers diagnostics but without tire information, or Bluetooth streaming capabilities. The miaLinkup is fully featured, instantly providing value and technology to vehicles that may need one or the other.

 

Nicholas Echevarria currently calls Shanghai home but is a Brooklyn native at heart. He writes about lifestyle, tech, and design and, whenever he gets the chance, indulges his addiction to biking and Hearthstone. Check out some more of his work at https://clippings.me/nicholasechevarria.