Despite my string of bad luck in getting devices that I've backed on crowdfunding to actually ship in a timely manner, I still see projects that I find worthwhile and interesting. Today a new car smartphone mount project launched on Kickstarter, and before you can ask "aren't there enough car mounts already available?", check out what's different about Bluejay.
As you can see in the video, Bluejay is more than just another mount for your phone. It adds an app and a combo of Bluetooth Smart and GPS to guide you back to your car if you've forgotten where you parked it in a crowded parking lot. That same beacon technology can help you find your phone if you've misplaced it somewhere in or near the car; simply double-tap Bluejay and the app rings the phone so you can find it.
For those of us who drive older cars without a big honkin' touchscreen that works with Apple's CarPlay, the Bluejay app provides much the same streamlined user interface to easily make calls, get directions, or play audio media. If you've had a bad accident, Bluejay can send an emergency text or call to a loved one.
While it's not actually connected to your car like Automatic, Bluejay can keep track of important things for you, like when you're likely to need to fill up with gas or change the oil. You can also keep track of items like recommended tire pressure or VIN number, the latter being used to provide maintenance advice and recall alerts.
The Bluejay app is set to integrate with home automation systems so that lights turn off and the house locks itself as you drive away. It can also work with apps like Expensify and Concur to automatically log mileage for reimbursement.
And one final thing - it IS a car mount. It uses a powerful magnet and a thin metal plate attached to the back of your phone or case to hold your iPhone firmly in place. The mount itself attaches to your car dashboard with either an air vent clip, suction cup or adhesive pad.
You can back Bluejay for as little as $79. At publication time just after launch, Bluejay had already raised almost 2% of its goal in two hours. There's over a month to go in the campaign if you're interested!