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Today’s cars come packed with technology that can do anything from analyzing your braking system to adjusting the cabin temperature. But even the most modern cars-about-town can stand a little personalization. STM shopped around for the latest must-have car accessories to make your driving experience truly auto-erotic … in a PG kinda way.
Did your brother borrow your car for a road-trip reunion with his college roommates? Or did your girlfriend steal your sedan for an all-day salon treatment? It’s time to put your ride into lockdown with the Fingerprint Car Security System, manufactured by Poly-Supreme Technology Co. Ltd. This ain’t your father’s average immobilizer/car alarm. It comes with an advanced anti-carjacking feature, voice-input control and a fingerprint-recognition system that ensures only authorized drivers can crank the engine. It’s easy to add or delete drivers’ prints from the database, so if your brother ponies up enough scratch to make the ride worth your while, simply add his mitts to the list.
Multimedia Car Receiver
A car radio that is equipped with Internet apps AND actually listens to you has just pulled into the parking lot. The voice-activated Parrot Asteroid Car Receiver pumps out music that’s sourced from your iPhone, iPod, USB drive or SD card … and it makes phone calls for you. It automatically synchronizes your mobile phonebook and directly dials using those numbers or voice activation. We can’t even get our mom to do all that stuff when she’s in our car.
Price: Will be available in the U.S. later this year.
Instant Engine Self-diagnosis
Is your car mechanic as credible as a Lindsay Lohan deposition? If you really want to know how sick your ride is, it’s time for you to pick up the CarMD. The TV-remote-sized gizmo downloads data directly from your auto’s on-board computers. And when it’s done, you simply connect it to your PC and the included software generates an easy-to-read report that lets you know exactly what’s going on with your wheels and generates an estimated a repair bill.
Talk to Your Apps
Can’t stop working when you’re travelling? This voice-interactive text messaging system allows you receive, send and browse text messages while you drive, without reaching for your phone. It reads written messages and appointments aloud, translates your spoken messages into text and even lets you chat to your Facebook account and update your status while you’re on the road. “Single … and looking!”
Price: $149.00 for in-car device; $9.99 per month. Currently works with BlackBerry phones. Android will be available later this year.
Remote Car Locator/Starter
It’s a cold day, and you’re wandering through a mall parking lot the size of the Pacific Ocean with no clue where you left the car. You’re an idiot -- but now there’s hope for the clueless. You can hunt down your ride, and even warm it up before you reach it, by starting the engine from almost anywhere with the Viper SmartStart. The device is incorporated into your car’s security system and is powered by an app on your smartphone that will even pop the trunk to let out your little brother when you think he’s finally learned his lesson. If he tries to get out on his own, it can send you an alert that security -- and the trunk -- has been breached. Stupid kid!
Price: Complete systems are $399.00; $49.99 per year. You can add SmartStart to existing Viper systems for $299.00. Compatible with iPhone, BlackBerry and Android platforms.
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