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Radiomize Steering Wheel Cover
Time: 2016-07-16
The Radiomize steering wheel cover converts a standard steering wheel into a touchpad controller
for a paired smartphone, safely adding connected car options to any vehicle. The Radiomize steering
wheel cover is made to fit most vehicles as a slip-on addition.
The cover consists of a breathable, leather-like body into which a touchpad, battery, and simple
wireless receiver are embedded. The idea behind the Radiomize steering wheel cover is to replace
or augment current steering wheel control buttons for smartphone control (normally done via the
car's internal Bluetooth) with a simpler, less distracting single-button upgrade.
The accompanying Radiomize app uses the phone's built-in technologies to provide infotainment,
social access, and safety. Users can scroll through messages, control music playback, read the
latest headlines and more using the Radiomize interface. When the vehicle is in motion (detected
via the phone's internal GPS and gyroscopes), the app automatically blocks the more distracting
activities to prevent unsafe behavior.
The safety systems in Radiomize are less pushy than those we've seen with other steering
wheel-based controllers like the drive system. Battery life is up to one year under normal use. 
The Radiomize controller includes three modes: Radio, Drive, and Stop. Under Radio Mode, the
touchpad's right button moves forward to the next song or news item and the left button goes
to the previous. In Drive Mode, incoming messages are accepted and read aloud with a tap on
either button. In Stop Mode, when the vehicle is stationary, messages can be scrolled through
and replied to with either button.
Longer presses and double-taps on the controller also have a function, with a long press in
Radio Mode controlling volume and a double-tap pausing and unpausing playback, or jumping
between music and news. In Drive Mode, a double-tap skips incoming messages. Finally, a sliding
gesture on the touchpad's body scrolls when in Stop Mode. Other safety features include an SOS
preset that allows the driver to create an SOS message that goes to up to five recipients. This
message can be sent in the event of an emergency, along with location details.
The Radiomize app also learns the driver's preferences during music playback and dynamically
creates or customizes its playlists according to that behavior. News, music, and message
types (including social media) can be filtered and customized as well. Radiomize is an Indiegogo
project looking to raise US$50,000 in order to enter production. A pledge of US$49 is required,
which is 45 percent lower than the planned retail price. The design team is based in
Melbourne, Australia and plans to begin deliveries in July and August of 2016 if funding is raised.
Sources: Radiomize, Indiegogo