Few driving noises can be as deflating as that of a car wheel scraping against the curb when parking. It means you've misjudged your distance from the sidewalk and inflicted some ugly and potentially expensive damage on your wheel. The SmartRim is a device aimed making this a thing of the past.
The SmartRim was created by technology entrepreneur Steven D. Domenikos with a view to giving drivers a clear idea of their proximity to curbs and other unsighted car wheel obstacles. It employs a sensor that measures the time taken for ultrasonic waves to reflect off nearby objects dozens of times every second.
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The device also contains a micro-electromechanical sensor that is used to constantly measure acceleration and can reportedly detect actions like a person entering the car. This helps it to be aware of its environment and allows it to become active only when necessary, thus saving energy.
Installation of the SmartRim is claimed to take just a matter of minutes. It attaches to the inside of a wheel well using the high bond adhesive and removable clip base-plate provided. The device is powered using a single AA battery that is said to last for more than 1,000 parking cycles. It's said to be waterproof, dust-proof, dirt-proof, vibration-proof and able to operate between temperatures of -20 to 120° F (-29 to 49° C).
The SmartRim sensors are wireless and relay information to an accompanying iOS mobile app. The app is then used to provide alerts when the vehicle gets near to a curb, walls or other hazards.
An Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign for the SmartRim has just launched, with a pledge of US$345 currently getting you a set of the sensors – when and if they reach production. A subsequent retail launch will reportedly see the system priced at $495 per vehicle, for which buyers will receive a sensor for each wheel and the SmartRim app.
The video below offers an introduction to the system.