While many auto manufacturers are piling onto smartphone integration systems like Apple CarPlay and Android auto, all other vehicles – old and new – are left with weak or no connectivity between their mobile devices and vehicles’ infotainment systems.
Today, The Kiwi Factory has announced a bit of hardware and software for those who are missing out on in-car smartphone functionality. Bluejay is the world’s first in-car smart mount for phones. Constructed from high grade CNC aluminum and carbon fiber, the smart mount features Bluetooth Smart technology and comes with an app that activates the moment you place your mobile device on the mount.
BlueJay works with all smartphones and functions as a safe, easy way to access contacts, music, GPS, and more with just a few swipes of the finger, so drivers have fewer distractions.
“The automotive and technology industries are quickly advancing to create a connected car revolution that better understands how we drive,” said Nicholas Bartlett, co-founder and CEO of The Kiwi Factory. “Drivers are still using their phones too much while driving, so we created Bluejay to be the smartest in-car gadget that not only better connects drivers to their cars, but also limits phone distractions while driving.”
As for the mount itself, it uses a magnet and nano-pad to hold the device, and adjusts via a three-axis system. The attach point is a choice of an air vent clip, suction cup, or sticky pad.
Beyond acting as a portable infotainment system, the Bluejay app offers several other tools, including:
- Find My Car or Phone: using Bluetooth Smart tech and GPS data, you can locate your car, even without cell reception
- Meter Notifications: automatic notifications when your parking meter is about to run out
- Accident Prevention & Assistance: the app can detect when an accident has occurred and uses a pre-programmed SMS/Emergency call
- Call and Messaging Shortcuts: included are pre-programmed messages (like iPhones offer you on the screen during an incoming call) to make it easier to respond without much distraction
- Music App and Internet Radio Integration: stream and control music from other apps
- Navigation and Smart Places: uses a point-of-interest system with turn-by-turn navigation to get you to nearby parking, gas stations, repair shops, or restaurants.
- Driver Data: tracks how many miles further you can drive before running out of gas, when to change your oil, or recommended tire pressure
- Smart Home and IFTTT Integration: control smart home functions, including Nest, Hue, and more
While Blujay touts the safe nature of these functions, it’s important to note that even fewer distractions can still be distractions when driving. Any step to get drivers to keep their heads up and their hands off their mobile devices while driving is a good one, but ultimately, voice-activated and fully-integrated systems are still the safest options.
Bluejay offers two versions of its smart mount, the “classic” (made of aluminum and plastic) retails for $79 by pre-order, and the “premium” (made of aluminum and carbon fiber) costs $99. Here’s the link to the Kickstarter