While waiting in my local Jemca for my car to be MOT’d, I picked up a magazine and became strangely excited. Take a look at what I found.
Basically it is a way to jump start your car without any hassle at all. No frozen fingers, no trying to work out where the car battery is, or what to clip to what. You don’t even have to worry about snipping your fingers off once you’ve found your inconveniently placed battery – it is just such a simple idea and all through the car’s 12V electric socket. What’s more it is amazingly cheap at under £20, what’s not to love?
Of course, once you have looked at one car gadget that’s it! You want to find a load of other exciting gadgets, some which make you giggle and some which might be genuinely useful.
Looking through Maplin often gives me a few giggles, I find myself asking “who on earth buys this stuff?” for example a £29.99 heated car seat and massager, simply strap it on and plug it into the 12V socket and bingo, a toasty warm bottom and a relaxing massage on the move. I am not sure it is a good idea to be massaged while driving; don’t you want to be alert rather than relaxed on Britain’s roads?
Another item which made me chuckle is one which will have the Health and Safety police in a bit of a spin. Drivemotion have produced an LED remote control messaging system which you can put on the back windscreen – It comes with some pre-programmed “smilies” although you can also choose text options telling someone to “back off” too! Luckily there is no option to programme your own messages!
For those on the move, there is a “Wheelmate” tray table. Simply connect it to your steering wheel and you have a mini table. Ideal for those who need to jot down some messages on a laptop or iPad before they go to their next meeting, or even grabbing a sandwich on the move. Lovely idea, but what are you supposed to do with this expensive and bulky piece of plastic when not in use?
My final giggle is a programmable car heater, simply plug it to the 12V socket to charge it up then set the timer so that you jump in to a toasty warm car every morning. At this time of year it almost falls into the ‘useful’ zone; however, it is bulky, and therefore you would need a hatch back or estate car with a 12V socket in the boot. Added to which, it probably sucks the life out of your battery while charging so if your journey into work is a short one, there could be a potential downside.
It is simply amazing what you can plug into the 12V socket or the car’s OBD-II port (you know, that socket under the steering wheel which the mechanics plug their diagnostic computers into.)
One of my favourite car gadgets is the Road Angel Gem – it detects live, mobile and fixed speed cameras (not that I ever speed you understand, but occasionally I might find myself doing 32 in a 30!) I just wish they’d combine one of these with a Tom-Tom or Garmin so you have a really useful piece of kit. Given that you can get these apps on your smartphones these days, the software interface can’t be that difficult.
CD slot tray, have you noticed that most modern cars are a bit curvy on the inside. There are no flat surfaces, just the occasional mug holder which has a hole in it so there is nowhere to ‘put’ anything. Enter the CD Slot – basically it is a posh, wonderfully engineered piece of black plastic which literally slots into the front of your CD. It has a non-slip sticky (ish) pad on it so that you can rest your satnav or phone. Ok, there is a down side, if your CD tray is in the glove compartment or low down it might not be that helpful but at £10 it is definitely worth a punt. Unlike the wheel mate, it is small enough not to be in the way, but big enough to be handy.
I know none of us would ever text or check emails while sitting in a traffic jam so this final gadget I will deem as being “the ideal gadget for teenagers!” The Driver’s Texting Disabler is a palm-sized transmitter, plugs into a car’s OBD-II port and connects via Bluetooth to an app on the smartphone to prevent the driver from texting, accessing emails, and web browsing on a smartphone while the car is moving