Cobra's new iRadar uses an app on the iPhone to display alerts from its radar detection module.
Wayne CunninghamManaging Editor / Roadshow
Wayne Cunningham reviews cars and writes about automotive technology for CNET's Roadshow. Prior to the automotive beat, he covered spyware, Web building technologies, and computer hardware. He began covering technology and the Web in 1994 as an editor of The Net magazine.
Radar detectors are clunky things, suction cupped to your windshield with a big cord running down to a power point. But Cobra has found a way to lessen its new radar detector's footprint, by connecting it with an iPhone.
Using an iPhone as the display for Cobra's iRadar, the actual detection module becomes a small, 4.5-inch-long unit with a height of just over an inch. It would look fine mounted permanently at the base of the windshield in most cars, or in front of the rearview mirror. Although you will still have to run a power cord to it.
The iPhone connects to iRadar via Bluetooth, and shows radar detector information on Cobra's iRadar app. The app displays warnings for K, Ka, X, and Laser, along with the vehicle's current speed and compass direction.
iPhones with iOS4 should support maintaining multiple active Bluetooth connections to different types of devices so, for example, you can connect it to iRadar and your car's Bluetooth hands-free phone system.