Car Gear

Out of Juice? Pocket Jump Charges Dead Car and Phone Batteries!

This is a first for me; we’ve covered plenty of external battery packs on Gear Diary, but never one that was able to serve as both “an emergency vehicle jump-starter and portable power bank”, which is exactly what the Viatek’s new Pocket Jump does. You can back on Kickstarter for as low as $40 or get two for $70.


Spytec G1W 1080P HD Car Dash Camera Review

If you are looking for a dash cam and don’t want to spend a bundle, the Spytec G1W 1080P HD Car Dash Camera may be just the thing for you. With an MSRP of under $80, and a current price of under $60, is in an inexpensive way to record what happens in just about any vehicle.



Kinivo Bluetooth Car Kit Makes Your Hooptie Hands-Free

My car is a 2008 Yukon Denali XL, and while it has tons of bells and whistles, it doesn’t have a hands-free bluetooth hookup for calls or audio. I figured I’d have to wait until we eventually upgraded vehicles (not any time soon!) before I had that feature, but with the $45 Kinivo Bluetooth Car Kit, there is no need. Setting up the…


Riding Texas Roads with the Escort Passport Max and Smart Cord Live

Dan reviewed the Escort Passport Max not too long ago, and his conclusion was that it gave “far fewer false alerts than any other radar detector [he had] used.” That’s one of several reasons I had stopped using radar detectors years ago, but recently I’ve revisited this old-school solution because of several new features.


Apple Announces CarPlay – a Smarter, Safer Way to Use Your iPhone in the Car

Apple announces CarPlay which makes extensive of their Siri voice control software to control your iPhone 5 (or higher) while driving. Available on select cars (initially Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar, Mercedes Benz, Volvo, and Ferrari) in 2014, the system will allow hands-free control of your iPhone and important apps such as phone, music, maps, messages as well as select third-party apps.


Audiovox inSite Separation Alarm Review – Perfect for the Forgetful

Audiovox’s inSite Separation Alarm is just that, a device that alerts you when the tag has been separated from your smartphone by a certain distance.  This super slim device can fit in your wallet or more easily, on your keys.  The inSite might be perfect for those who are always leaving their valuables behind.  The inSite sells for $29.99.


Escort SmartCord Live! Brings Smarts to My Passport Max

Escort’s Passport Max is the best radar detector I have ever used. It looks great, sounds good, and works extremely well — signaling only if there’s a real issue. (Read my review, and keep an eye out for Judie’s “second look” post!) I was, however, missing the active real-time connection with traffic information. The Escort SmartCord Live! fixes that.


Open Automotive Alliance Putting Android Behind the Wheel

The Open Automotive Alliance was announced this week as a partnership initially between Audi, GM, Google, Honda, Hyundai and NVIDIA to work together to advance integration of the Android platform into the automotive environment. The announcement boasts the OAA being dedicated to a common platform to drive innovation and make technology in the car safer and more intuitive.


Ford Announces Four New SYNC Apps at CES

At CES in Las Vegas today, Ford Motors announced four new apps for SYNC’s AppLink.  Now, you’ll be able to order Dominos, monitor on your home’s security system with ADT, play music automatically based on your mood with HABU, or find the nearest parking spot with Parkopedia and pay for it with Parkmobile.  Click each link to find out more.


GM Announces 4G LTE and AppShop for 2015 Chevrolet Models

General Motors is announcing technology news at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week. Select 2015 Chevrolet models will be rolling out with 4G LTE connectivity speeds via the vehicle’s OnStar system and, taking advantage of this new technology, infotainment personalization is being enhanced with the new Chevrolet AppShop accessible from the vehicle’s MyLink screen.


Escort Passport Max – Avoid Speeding Tickets and Look Fabulous

I recently reviewed (and was blown away by) the Escort Passport Max. This next-gen radar detector cuts down on false alerts and helps keep me safe while driving. Now Escort has introduced limited edition versions in awesome new colors and designs; Judie has the wood-burl design coming for use with her Denali. For now, click through for a quick look.



Tired of False Alerts? Check Out the Escort PASSPORT Max

Unlike my wife and father-in-law, I’m not a particularly fast driver, but I still appreciate knowing when there is a speed trap looking to snare unsuspecting drivers. For the last two years, I’ve used an iOS-enabled unit. When I started reviewing the PASSPORT Max, a next-gen detector, last week I suddenly realized just how many false positives I was getting.


Passport MAX Wins SEMA, Heads Out on Road Trip

I had a chance to see the new Passport MAX from Escort last night. It is a huge leap forward in radar detector technologies. It is so advanced that it just one “Best New Product” at SEMA. With scanning technologies that separates real threats from RF interference, the MAX “sees what others can’t”. We will have much more soon.


Ventev Powerdash r900 Brings Power On the Go X2

Sometimes the small innovations make the most sense. They can also make you step back and think, “Now why didn’t I think of that?” The Ventev Powerdash r900 is a 2.1A in-car rapid charger for your smartphone or tablet that it is also a 900mAh external battery you can grab when you reach your destination. Brilliant!


New Gear From Just Mobile

Our friends at Just Mobile have always put out some of our favorite iPhone, iPad and Mac accessories. Over the past few months they have added some great new items to their portfolio. We have a few one the way for review and as a giveaway. In the meantime, here’s a look at some of them.


TYLT Y-CHARGE + SYNCABLE Keeps You and Your Gear Going

Keeping your gear going is a challenge of modern mobile life and the accessories that help keep gear charged is usually far from exciting or stylish. TYLT is seeking to change that with their Y-CHARGE + SYNCABLE. The Lightning version is $49.99 while the microUSB version is just $29.99. Check out all four of the cool colors.


2014 Honda Odyssey Minivan Sucks in a Really Good Way

While some automakers have abandoned the minivan segment, Honda is out to prove its leadership in this arena yet again with the release of the 2014 Odyssey Touring Elite. The new model has already begun an interesting marketing campaign in the quest to prove the Honda minivan doesn’t suck with the launch of an all-new feature that, well, truly sucks….


Nissan Becomes First Automotive Partner for Apple’s iTunes Radio

Nissan North America has just announced that it has signed an exclusive partnership deal with Apple and its new iTunes Radio. From now until the end of 2013, Nissan will be the first automaker offering iTunes Radio in its vehicles in the upcoming 2014 Nissan Rogue, the new 2014 Versa Note and the LEAF electric vehicle. Citing the Nissan brand…


What’s Red, White or Black and Filled with Sound?

speeCup may look like a cup of coffee, but this cup is filled with sound. Available in red, white, or black the $129.95 speeCup is a Siri/S Voice enabled Bluetooth surround sound speaker with gesture control. 8” tall, it has a noise canceling microphone, top mounted controls and up to 20 hours of use per charge. Check it out.