Cooley On Cars
License plate frames go high techThe silliest part of your car is home to new camera and sensor upgrades.
License plate frame if I'm gonna be polite I'll say they're quaint. One of the dumbest things left on your car basically giving free advertising to the dealer where you bought hit. Or telling me you're driving a Ferrari cuz I I wouldn't have noticed that. Or proclaiming your favourite team, to the car behind you, who probably doesn't care. We could do a lot more with that valuable real estate and lately it's been happening. Now, license plate frames that have sensors or even cameras on them are nothing new. They have been on the market for quite a long time. But of course That's if you don't mind dealing with this. They've typically been wired to power and to lenses and to sensors and to control boxes of different kinds. That's fine if you're a [UNKNOWN] tree mechanic who don't mind l;leaving your car at the 12 volt shop for a day, but I bet you're neither. Instead, you want wireless and DIY, and that's the new trend. The most ambitious and pricey option is what used to be called Pearl, but it's now known as rear vision by a company called American Road. It has rear camera, back-up sensors and solar charging. All in a package as nice as something Apple would do, which makes sense since former Apple engineers did do it. An included OBD2 Dongle triggers everything to appear on your phone automatically when you go into reverse. At least it should. I couldn't get it to work on Android 8, 7, or 4 devices. Maybe you'll have better luck with your iPhone. And if you do, you will find this the most polished of the category. FenSens gives you park sensors only. It installs similarly with security screws over your license plates. You can calibrate the distance from the back of your car to the back of your bumper and the sensors can be aimed and angled to suit. Those are nice real-world touches. It's not a pretty thing, but it worked the best of any product we tested in this video. [SOUND] Okay, once you get Fenced In stuck on the back of your car, and you got the app running on your phone, the last step is to install this little Brody knob on your wheel. I kid you not. It goes right there, clips on with a little rubber clip. And then when you wanna back up you gotta hit that. So when I press that guy via Bluetooth it invokes the app and there you go. I can hear and see what's going on with things in two different lobes behind the car. By the way if I had one on the front as well I could toggle between the two. So you can do front and rear and have them both paired to the app. It's a little coarse But it's not bad. Where Fen-Sense is sensor only, Look-It is camera only. It's also activated by a Brody knob or, like Fen-Sense, you can optionally wire it into your shifter position. But that defeats the DIY-ness. Camera angle and guidelines are both adjustable for your car. There's no OBD dongle, just a direct bluetooth connection from knob to frame to phone. In my testing it was frequently hesitant to launch. When it did come up, the image was good and the adjustability made it trustworthy. Phrame is the oddball in the bunch. It is not a camera or a sensor. It is a key locker behind your license plate. An app lets you grant one time access to the car key within and show the grantee where the car is to go get it. That could be useful for car share, deliveries, detailers, or just to unload your own bulky key fab when you're out for a run. No need to convince consumers it's really hard to break into and let's hope the delivery dude doesn't forget to put your key back in. It's not available until 2Q 2018. So just when you though you bought the car buff every possible gift for their ride, we have a new category. With some unusual, and I'm afraid, some uneven [INAUDIBLE]. They're easy to try, though, but make sure you got a rock solid return policy.