Tire pressure monitoring systems have migrated from the most expensive luxury cars to more mainstream models, but that doesn’t mean this technology has reached its apogee.
Currently crowdfunding on Indiegogo, FOBO Tire claims to be the first Bluetooth-enabled tire pressure monitoring system. Instead of having to physically be in a car, it lets owners check their tires via smartphone.
That means you won’t have to bother with checking each tire a handheld gauge, or with having friends if you ever whip this app out at a social event.
FOBO Tire consists of a sensor that fits over a tire’s air inlet valve, an app for iOS and Android phones, and an in-car monitor that relays information in the temporary absence of the phone.
Setup simply involves screwing on the sensor and following prompts for the app on a smartphone. Once everything is up and running, users can monitor up to 20 vehicles, and share their information with up to 100 of their closest friends, although why anyone would need to do that isn’t clear.
The sensors use Bluetooth 4.0 and are powered by CR2032 batteries that last up to two years, FOBO’s creators say, and are fairly easy to replace. When it’s time to rotate FOBO-equipped tires, it’s also necessary to switch their position on the app to keep everything in order.
Each sensor is locked to a user’s FOBO cloud account, so they can’t be reused if they’re lost or stolen. FOBO will also inform users when it detects a sensor is missing, and will include a wrench and nuts to secure them to tires.
FOBO hasn’t discussed pricing for individual replacement sensors, but the initial set of four (along with the in-car monitor) will retail for $149 when mass production gets underway.
This product hasn’t had trouble luring backers. In just over one week, FOBO Tire blew past its $28,000 fundraising goal, securing $40,674 in backing. Apparently there are a lot of people out there who love a properly-inflated tire.