March 24, 2015 — Make your car a Wi-Fi hotspot. Talk about cool gadgets. A company called Vinli has developed what I think, is a great retrofit, or aftermarket device, for vehicles. The Vinli product is a communication module that plugs directly into the on-board diagnostic port of a vehicle. It adds Wi-Fi access to vehicles not manufactured with that capability. But that isn’t all. It can add a slew of apps created by Vinli and other third-party app developers.
Currently, there are Beagle and Lock and Key. Beagle allows users to monitor a young driver and make sure they are driving safely while Lock and Key is meant to make sure the vehicle does not leave the premises when it is in the hands of parking valets (finally, I can have my Camaro valet parked).
From the third party vaults come apps like Breezometer. It was developed in Israel to monitor air quality; and Motostat, a European app that keeps track of the maintenance performed on the vehicle.
What makes this so groundbreaking is that it is the first LTE device brought to market combining Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth, and accelerometer. And, it all fits in a neat, little package that fits under the hood and for around $100.
Sign me up.
Ernest Worthman is the editor of Small Cell Magazine.