By 2018, all new cars will be required to include backup cameras, thanks to a new set of regulations implemented by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). But until that time comes, many cars new and old will still be sold without an integrated camera. It's cars like these that are the perfect candidate for a new product called Pearl RearVision.
Designed by a group of ex-Apple employees, Pearl RearVision is a smart backup camera designed to work hand-in-hand with vehicles to help increase safety, both for the driver and bystanders.
Powering the visuals of the wireless device is a pair of high-definition cameras, which are secured inside a custom license plate mount. It uses a smartphone as its screen, which enables users to view both the wide-angle display, as well as a more magnified view for precision parking.
An included adapter plugs into the vehicle's on-board diagnostics port (OBD) and works hand in hand with the Pearl app. Using the cameras, the app analyzes the visual information and sends intelligent alerts to notify drivers of any potential objects in the path of the vehicle.
To operate without the need for wires, the Pearl team has integrated solar panels on the bottom side of the license plate mount. These negate the need to drill into the vehicle that it's mounted on, and make the install as simple as tightening a few screws.
The Pearl RearView is currently available for pre-order. At $500, it's quite pricey compared to other third-party backup cameras, but Pearl hopes its simple setup, all-in-one solution, and three-year warranty will entice consumers to bite the bullet.