Here comes Car 2.0 – 10 years later

Telematics, the Smart Grid and the Internet of Things all should have gotten started about ten years ago.  Unfortunately we took the decade off. Now all three are heating up.

From a post at Earth2tech, there is an aftermarket product that hooks into the car’s existing computer system and is now working with three iPhone apps that record and analyze your car’s system data.

The product is the Kiwi Wifi connector, and its $149.99. The Kiwi Wifi connector “is a plug and play wireless device measuring only 2.75 x 1.25 x 0.6 inches. Kiwi Wifi comes attached with a 6 ft OBDII cable for easy installation. It also comes included with a power switch built-in to prevent the need for having to constantly disconnect your unit from the OBDII port. It is compatible with 1996 and later vehicles. Connecting to your iPhone / iPod touch is made by 802.11a/b/g connection in adHoc mode.”

But wait!  There’s more!  For $249.99 you can get the Kiwi Wifi with iMFB! “The added benefit of Kiwi Wifi + iMFD is that with every additional iMFD sensor module you add, your performance does not degrade. For example, if you’re monitoring only 1 sensor from the OBDII port and your refresh rate is 5Hz, by monitoring 2 sensors, your refresh drops to 2.5Hz and so on. By adding 1 or 32 iMFD sensors, your refresh rate is always kept constant at 10Hz. This results in higher performance monitoring for even the most demanding applications. ”

iMFD is so obscure even Google had a hard time. And just when you thought this post couldn’t get any more geeky…

I am mainly writing this post because I have never seen a car’s computer port described.  Its called an OBD-II,  “which is standard on all cars built after 1996, and has to be accessible in the front dashboard within three feet of the driver.”

I am sure you are wondering, how can I tell which of the three protocols does my car use?

  • “J1850 VPW–The connector should have metallic contacts in pins 2, 4, 5, and 16, but not 10.
  • ISO 9141-2–The connector should have metallic contacts in pins 4, 5, 7, 15, and 16.
  • J1850 PWM–The connector should have metallic contacts in pins 2, 4, 5, 10, and 16.”

About Daniel Davenport

Daniel is a digital media executive with internet and broadcast experience. Daniel is currently the executive strategy director at THINK Interactive.


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