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Lemur SafeDriver Wireless Vehicle Monitor
Lemur SafeDriver Wireless Vehicle Monitor

Gizmos

High-tech car nannies Add to ...

Given the consequences, driver safety is a constant that requires good judgment, but a little technical help can't hurt, especially if one driver is trying to keep tabs on another. These three items are unique in what their core functions are, but put together, they make for an interesting package.

Lemur SafeDriver Wireless Vehicle Monitor

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  • $49.99 (U.S.)
  • Available at: Thinkgeek.com

Parents with impetuous teens and 20-somethings who drive their cars will appreciate that SafeDriver can provide data on their offspring's driving habits. In a nutshell, the sensor and key fob work together to provide an accurate reading of the car's fastest speed, the distance travelled (in kilometres) and the number of instances the driver applied sudden brakes.

Setup is simple in that the sensor plugs into the OBD-II port, and after syncing with the key fob, it's ready to go. A neat feature is that the key fob will catch tampering red-handed. If the sensor is removed, the fob's battery pulled out or a wrong PIN entered, the word "Tamper" will affix itself permanently until a proper PIN and reset removes it.

SafeDriver certainly has a Big Brother element to it, which may be a bit unsettling, but it does make it difficult for youngsters to explain the story behind the numbers.

BACtrack B70 Digital Breathalyzer

  • $79.99 (U.S.)
  • Available at: Thinkgeek.com

The fact that this is a breathalyzer makes its primary purpose very obvious, but the way it works is both simple and effective. About the length of a cellphone with a thinner frame, the BACtrack B70 is pocket-sized and an easy contraption to store in a glove box.

It runs on two AA batteries and features only one button and a small LCD screen displaying the instructions to blow and the blood alcohol content that comes up after analysis. After about six seconds, you can blow into either of the two holes at the top until you hear a beep, whereby the results are then shown onscreen.

Because of the limited power usage, a pair of rechargeable batteries should keep this going for a long time. But the real value proposition is the peace of mind in knowing whether you or another driver are sober enough to be behind the wheel.

BlipPlus

  • Free
  • Available at: Apple App Store, BlackBerry App World

Calgary-based Blackline GPS originally launched this app as a useful method in broadcasting one's location, but it has since become a geo-social networking app competing with the likes of Google Latitude. The comparisons notwithstanding, BlipPlus does serve a purpose for its tracking capabilities, which could come in handy on long road trips or parental peace of mind during teenage joyrides.

Once enabled on an iPhone or BlackBerry, the user can share his or her location by sending an e-mail to someone. The caveat is that the recipient has to register for a free Blackline account before being able to see anything. Once that's over with, you can view the sender's location on a map with updates at various intervals.

The added bonus to the app is that it can pair with Blackline's tracking devices like the Entourage and GPS Snitch to control their functions and help track your car if stolen.

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