The days of guessing how much air is in that one leaky tire may be over. Paired up with an Android or iOS device, Fobo’s new Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) uses Bluetooth 4.0 and individual tire sensors to actively monitor pressures and provide real time data to user’s smartphones on a 24/7 basis.
The company, which has already designed the Fobo Max Bluetooth wireless tag for tracking belongings, is now expanding its offerings to include a real time tire monitoring system. While we've seen a number of Bluetooth-enabled tire pressure monitoring sensors for bikes and motorbikes, Fobo claims its offering is a first for cars.
The Bluetooth 4.0-enabled smart gauge is about as simple to install as the wee cap it replaces. Using two AA batteries for the "In-Car" unit and a single CR2032 button battery for each individual sensor unit, the Fobo Tire gauge connects to the companion app on an Android or iOS smartphone.
According to the designers, each tire receives its own unique identifier that allows accurate readouts to be provided for the individual tires, with a three-level alert raised on the phone should one of the tires drop below acceptable levels. More aggressive alerts are given should the pressure drop to dangerous levels where the system feels it’s unsafe to drive.
A backup system, that relies on the in-car unit, takes over monitoring and provides notifications should the user forget their smartphone. The system, which is effectively in monitoring mode 24/7, will also provide users real-time information from up to 30 m (100 ft) away when not in the car.
For corporate clients, the device can also be setup to monitor up to 20 cars from one app, which also allows up to 100 users to drive and monitor different cars when sharing mode is activated. While the tire-mounted devices would be easy to steal, each sensor is keyed to the owner’s own Fobo cloud account, making theft pretty pointless.
Fobo has already reached its goal on an Indiegogo campaign that offers one set of tire monitoring systems for pledges of US$90, which includes four tire sensors, the in-car unit and the free app. If all goes well, deliveries will begin in November.
The team's Indiegogo pitch video can be viewed below.