I’ve pre-ordered a gizmo to hook my phone to my car operations. It reads the standard computer interface data and archives it, combining it with GPS and other data to show you where you’ve been, how much you paid for gas (it checks the internet for the gas price at the station you refueled at), MPG, and so on.
The thing that actually got me to order it is that it shows you the computer diagnostic codes that your mechanic gets to look at, but which you only see as a lit idiot light. That has always pissed me off — I’m not a car guy, I don’t work on cars, but it’s my damn car and I want to know WTF it’s complaining about when the Check Engine idiot light comes on. Seriously, man. Is my car about to explode? Or is some twitch making it 10% less efficient? Can I safely drive the thing, or should it be towed, or is this best fixed by a piece of duct tape over the light?
So now (if the gizmo works) I’ll be able to know. I can even reset it, which will reduce my duct tape costs.
I’ll post when it shows up. For now my only complaint is the name: “Automatic”. Uh… Try googling for the product, uh, or not. It won’t pull up the product. Or anything else interesting, for that matter.
[Update: When I first wrote that a few weeks ago this was true. Now it is not — the first hit is for them, the second for a wikipedia article, the third for them again, and so on. I doubt they kickstarted so well that they can afford to bribe google, so I’m