No matter what type of car you drive, there's a good chance you use some form technology while on the road. This may include looking at your touchscreen display to get directions to your location or using Bluetooth technology to take hands-free calls.
However, many drivers don't own or lease a car equipped with smart technology and often find themselves fumbling with their smartphones to answer a call on speaker, check a text message or to Google directions. Being that distracted only adds to the risk of getting into an accident.
Now, drivers will be able to turn any car into a smart car thanks to this touched-enabled steering wheel cover.
Called Radiomize, the wheel cover will help drivers keep their eyes on the road and hands on the wheel, while still allowing them to be connected. This includes being able to access the radio, hear news and text messages and answer calls.
The cover comes in two different sizes to fit just about any kind steering wheel, and has a leather-like feel and futuristic design.
Radiomize features a touch pad located at the two o'clock hand position so that the user can control their smartphone using thumb gestures without have to take their hand off the wheel.
While some steering wheels feature smart buttons to help drivers answer calls and change the radio hands-free, these generic wheels are often crowded with too many buttons. This may distract the driver as they look down to find the correct button.
Using its patented gesture-controlled touch pad, Radiomize users can access three different modes: Radio Mode, where the driver can play the next or previous song, Drive Mode, to have messages read out loud and Stop Mode, which selects scrolling messages and allows the user to reply to selected messages. Each function is accessed depending on the gesture given, such as double-tapping on the top right of the touch pad to play the radio.
Serving as a driving companion that will keep you entertained during long rides, Radiomize features an accompanying app for iOS and Android that streams personalized music and news on-demand. The app learns the types of songs the driver enjoys listening to over time, creating mood-based playlists based on their musical preferences.
The Melbourne-based team at Radiomize partnered with IBM to develop the smart touch steering wheel cover. Inside the touch pad is a replaceable CR2032 lithium coin cell battery that has up to a one-year of battery life on average. Radiomize is compatible with Siemens and Rexton hearing aids, as well as with Radiomize's 3W Portable Bluetooth Speaker.
The team behind Radiomize launched an Indiegogo campaign, with the hopes of raising $50,000. As part of the company's early bird special, consumers can get the gesture-controlled steering wheel cover for just $49. Radiomize is expected to ship in August 2016.