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Going backward for car safety

Affordable Webcam helps limit blind spots


Car makers are increasingly looking backward in their visual safety features--as in Webcam screens built into their rear-view mirrors in an effort to eliminate blind spots once and for all. While we're all in favor of the idea, for some reason we have a feeling that the cost of such add-ons will involve bodily appendages such as arms and legs.

But SkyMall, of all places, is offering a "Wireless Backup Camera" that plugs into the license plate light socket and feeds video to a 2.5-inch color display that can be fastened to a visor or the dashboard for $150. It's not as fancy as the LCD that disappears into the mirror of some Mazda SUVs, but it's also only a fraction of the cost.

If you're on the verge of a mid-life crisis, however, you can always wait for similar features that are expected on Intel's computerized motorocycle of the future. That'll give you plenty of time to hit the tattoo parlor first.