The automobile industry has fully given in to the Internet of Things (IoT) movement. That is, patching anything and everything into the internet.
According to Business Insider, the market for connected cars has experienced a compound annual growth rate of 45% over the last five years. That overshadows the overall car market 10 times over.
“By 2020… 75% of cars shipped globally will be built with the necessary hardware to allow people to stream music, look up movie times, be alerted of traffic and weather conditions, and even power driving-assistance services such as self-parking,” says Business Insider’s John Greenough.
Connected cars certainly offer a lot of benefits.
A connected car can update the vehicle’s software automatically… It can give you early warning signs of potential mechanical issues, which lowers your chances of getting stranded after a sudden breakdown… And it can even allow law enforcement to find a stolen vehicle.
The problem is, connected cars go for an “average selling price of $55,000,” according to Greenough. Not exactly affordable to most people.
But thanks to a new device called Vinli, upgrading to a connected car just became affordable to the masses.
The device, which looks similar to a USB stick, plugs directly into a car’s data port under the dashboard.
You can then connect to the device using your smartphone.
Well, you can choose from a growing selection of apps from Vinli, some more useful than others.
One app allows parents to track their teen driver’s safe-driving habits… Another links your car to any connected devices in your home… There’s one that claims to help you find a parking spot… And one app even gives you store discounts and other rewards just for not touching your phone while driving.
Vinli also offers separate data connections to turn your car into a Wi-Fi hotspot.
The best part is, the device itself costs $99.
Vinli is getting a lot of attention right now. The company raised $6.5 million in a recent round of funding – led by Samsung Venture Investment Corp.
Check out the video below to see the device in action.
Executive Editor, Wall Street Daily