Ex-Apple Employees Built a Revolutionary Backup System for All Cars
【Summary】The Pearl RearVision only does one thing: helps people backup without hitting undetectable obstacles or objects. However, the device does it mind-blowingly well (the unit also comes with a hefty price tag of $499), using two HD cameras and a supplementary attachment that can be inserted in the vehicle’s ODB-II port.
On a scale of need versus want, most semi-autonomous features, including assisted parallel parking, are non-essential. Although helpful, assisted driving maneuvers can still be executed flawlessly by humans, which is why most do not heavily rely on such capabilities. Like the consumer electronics sector, next-generation cars are prone to receiving unnecessary, bloated features (case in point: Ford's A/C condensation water filtering system) that no one really needs.
Recently, several ex-Apple engineers were hit with this realization while working with the tech giant on its self-driving car platform. After drawing inspiration from other companies in the autonomous driving industry, the group left the business and built their own tech-savvy product for modern vehicles. Called Pearl RearVision Wireless Car Backup Camera and Obstacle Alert System, the device is a non-intrusive sensing component that helps people uncover blind spots while operating a car in reverse.
It's simple, powerful and works exactly as described.
Making Cars Smarter
The Pearl RearVision only does one thing: helps people backup without hitting undetectable obstacles or objects. However, the device does it mind-blowingly well (the unit also comes with a hefty price tag of $499), using two HD cameras and a supplementary attachment that can be inserted in the vehicle's ODB-II port. During operation, the cameras stream the video to the owner's smartphone and the ODB dongle provides auditory notifications. The entire system is wireless and very easy to install. Furthermore, the sensing units are hidden inside a thin license plate frame, which doubles as a protective barrier. Anyone can install the unit, as it does not require a professional to setup and calibrate.
"Historically new features, from airbags to antilock brakes, have taken 30-40 years to reach widespread adoption. The future will be no different, unless we re-think things," explained Co-Founder and CEO of Pearl RearVision Bryson Gardner.
Surprisingly, the system works in rough environments that would cause self-driving platforms to malfunction. For example, the unit can provide guidance under low-light conditions (at night) via infrared features. It is also weatherproof and theft resistant, allowing it to stand up against rain and snow. For tight corners, individuals could switch to wide viewing modes for enhanced clarity.
One of the requirements of the Pearl RearVision is a dongle that attaches to the car's ODB-II port. This standard can only be met by cars manufactured after 1996. As for the official app that receives real-time video, the company released the platform on both iOS and Android. The costly $499 price tag may turn some consumers off from adopting the device; but according to a PC Mag review, this backup camera system performs better than stock rear sensors on the Ford F-150 and Honda CRV.
"You'll pay top dollar for the Pearl RearVision, but compared with the price of a quality third-party backup camera system, which can run as high as $600-$700 with installation and a decent-size screen, it doesn't seem so expensive. Moreover, you don't have to worry about drilling holes, running wires, or modifying your car's dash to accommodate it," said John Delaney from PC Mag.
Michael Cheng is a legal editor and technical writer with publications for Blackberry ISHN Magazine Houzz and Payment Week. He specializes in technology business and digesting hard data. Outside of work Michael likes to train for marathons spend time with his daughter and explore new places.
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