We’re going to ahead and skip the moral babble on whether or not radar detectors are good or bad*; if you want to wage that war, the comment section is all yours. With that said, check this thing out: it’s a police radar/red light camera detector that works with help from the iPhone (or, soon, an Android handset.)
Though I’ve got a feeling that Apple’s probably not going to grant this thing a “Made for iPhone” badge any time soon, the Cobra iRadar works in unison with an iPhone by way of the magic that is the Bluetooth protocol.
Once paired, the iRadar ties into a free companion iPhone app (the company also promises an Android app “Soon”), which enables the handful of clever tricks this thing packs up its sleeve. The detector keeps firing off false alarms in a certain spot? You can mark that area as prone to misfires. Want to update the radars Red Light Camera warning database? You can do it through the phone.
At CES next month, Cobra will also be announcing a new feature: crowdsourced speed trap alerts.
“But wait!” you say. “Isn’t that what Trapster does?”
Indeed — and I’d assume that Trapster, and other apps like it, are exactly the reason Cobra is moving in this direction. If folks start thinking that Trapster and the like can provide much of what a radar detector would but for a small fraction of the cost, the radar makers might start feeling the burn; by taking on some of the strengths of these applications and integrating’em while also providing an actual real-time radar detection system, they’ve got one more thing to keep sales up.
Cobra doesn’t mention an official price anywhere, but a quick glance around pins it at around $129 on Amazon.
* With that said, people who drive like jerks are, well, jerks. Having tools to keep you from getting nailed for absent-mindedly going 5 miles over the limit is one thing — having them so you can blast around at 95 on a busy freeway is totally different (and totally terrible.) Be safe, folks.