Apple into Car Accessories? Where the world is heading.Sajeel Sehgal
A trio of ex-Apple engineers launched a new company out of stealth mode on Tuesday. It’s called Pearl, and it makes tech for your car.
Fifty out of Pearl’s 70 employees used to work at Apple. But instead of focusing on building a new kind of car, like Apple and so many other companies are reportedly doing, Pearl is focused on creating high-end technology all cars can use.
Here’s what Pearl’s first product looks like:
Pearl’s first product is a weatherproof backup camera and alert system that you install as a typical license-plate frame.
It looks pretty easy to install. Pearl says that it takes only a screwdriver and a couple of minutes.
Pearl says that its easy installation is one of the key aspects that sets this product, called Rear Vision, apart from similar rear view-camera systems.
The bottom of the frame, interestingly enough, has solar panels, so the two high-definition cameras power themselves, basically.
Once it’s in place, it will automatically live-stream footage to your smartphone.
Pearl provides a magnetic mount for your iPhone or Android smartphone, which hooks to your vent or dash.
Pearl provides an adapter that plugs into your car’s onboard diagnostics (OBD) port, which connects the cameras on your license plate to the Pearl app on your phone.
The adapter is also responsible for analyzing the video streams to detect obstacles in your path, as well as providing audio and visual alerts to your phone.
Altogether, these components essentially turn your phone into a backup camera.
You can switch from normal to super-wide views so you can pan left and right around corners.
The system will also alert you through the OBD adapter when you’re getting too close to an obstacle while backing up.
Having a backup camera is vital. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently mandated that all new cars must have rear view cameras by May 2018.
This technology can save your life. And it’s particularly important to consider if you don’t have this kind of tech already and if you’re not looking to buy a new car anytime soon.
Pearl’s Rear Vision system costs $499 and ships in September.