The OBD (On-Board Diagnostics) II port in all cars produced since 1996 has been tapped for the wide array of information it can yield about a car’s status and performance . Much of this information has been transferred to an app or a clunky tablet-like device on the dashboard.
Exploride, though, ties together input from the OBD II connector, your smartphone and even the good old car stereo (via Bluetooth) to create an ambitious and holistic smart car retrofit solution. The basic functionality includes tasks we’ve seen in many other in-vehicle systems, including control over phone calls, navigation and music. What really sets the product apart is its 6″ fold-down transparent display that also features a dash cam for good measure. While companies such as Garmin have experimented with heads-up displays, the car computer from the Maryland-based company has a much slicker, sleeker and colorful experience.
Complementing the transparent display is a system for gesture control that, at least according to the campaign video, can be activated casually from a fair distance. Exploride seeks $100,000 by August 25th in its Flexible Funding campaign. It’s due to ship in January 2016 for $299, a 40 percent discount from the expected price.
In terms of functionality and scope, Exploride hearkens back to Zhor, but stands to far surpass it in terms of display and user interface, which set a new bar in terms of how a smart car experience should look and act. The company’s biggest challenge will be tapping into developers to support its clean user interface as Apple and Google drive to create car-friendly versions of iOS and Android apps via CarPlay and Android Auto.