Automotive

SmartRim takes sideways approach to preventing wheel damage

The SmartRim wireless sensor that can be fitted to a car and detects proximity to curbs and other obstacles
The SmartRim wireless sensor that can be fitted to a car and detects proximity to curbs and other obstacles
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The SmartRim wireless sensor that can be fitted to a car and detects proximity to curbs and other obstacles
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The SmartRim wireless sensor that can be fitted to a car and detects proximity to curbs and other obstacles
The SmartRim attaches to a wheel arch using adhesive and a removable clip base-plate and is said to be waterproof, dust-proof, dirt-proof and vibration-proof
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The SmartRim attaches to a wheel arch using adhesive and a removable clip base-plate and is said to be waterproof, dust-proof, dirt-proof and vibration-proof
The SmartRim relays information to an iOS app, which provides alerts when a wheel gets close to an obstacle
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The SmartRim relays information to an iOS app, which provides alerts when a wheel gets close to an obstacle

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.

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.

The SmartRim relays information to an iOS app, which provides alerts when a wheel gets close to an obstacle
The SmartRim relays information to an iOS app, which provides alerts when a wheel gets close to an obstacle

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.

Sources: SmartRim, Indiegogo

SmartRim: Protect Your Vehicle's Sides and Rims From Damage

9 comments
Bob
Where I live, the snow, mud and rocks would make short work of this. Reminds me of the curb feelers of the good old days.
StWils
This needs a lot more work. "High Bond Adhesives" on an uneven dirty surface will fail at the first or second energetic jolt. Also a AA battery will somehow never last as long as advertised and will be a giant nuisance to change, especially one for each wheel. Overall, it seems like a good idea. I do not really see a need for sensors on the driver's side. Anyone who can not tell where the car is on the driver's side probably should not be driving and likely would not pay attention to some annoying sensor beep.
Expanded Viewpoint
One more useless car gadget. What's wrong with slowing down a bit so the wheel doesn't hit the curbing with so much force that the rims get beat up? A guy I know used to have curb whiskers on his car, and he'd STILL bang into the curbs because he came in at too steep of an angle to them. Properly adjusted mirrors and some practice will do away with the need for expensive and failure prone junk like this. Even my wife's Dodge Neon has remotely adjusted mirrors on it, so why can't a super expensive car have them too in order to see how close the tire is to the curb? Once you are parked, adjust the mirror back to its normal position. Randy
rmcox
Curb feelers may be old school, but they are only about 8 bucks, not 400. Another great example of useless technology. I bet the developers are too young to have ever seen curb feelers.
Edward Vix
Michelin makes tyres with a protruding lip at the rim that completely protects the wheel from curb rash. Problem solved.
Bill Bennett
How about people learn how to drive their car?
Bevin Chu
It's pretty obvious what the end point of all these "safety measures" is. Human beings permanently placed in the womb like capsules we saw in "The Matrix".
SmartRim
The price has changed. We are now offering a Basic Pak for $109 which is one sensor and a Standard Pak for $179 which is two sensors.
SmartRim
We are now offering and Basic Pak for $109 and a Standard Pak for $179.
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