Kickstarter has produced some incredible innovations recently – from a revolutionary super-shower to a wrap-around pillow that gives you the perfect night’s sleep. And the latest invention to find success on the platform is a cool (and yet somewhat baffling) device that lets you communicate with other drivers using emojis.
It’s called CarWink and it smashed its fundraising goal of $80,000 (£57,937) by raising $102,255 (£74,054) from 679 backers.
Essentially, the device aims to end the days of drivers communicating with hand signals, flashing lights and foul-mouthed, sweary rants when you get cut off; instead, the hands-free, voice-controlled CarWink lets drivers send an emoji to the car behind. For example, if there’s an accident in front of you, just say ‘Accident ahead’ and the CarWink will show the car behind a little picture of two cars crashing on its round, LED display. Good idea, isn’t it?
The California designers Innovart Design Inc. say on their Kickstarter page: “CarWink’s unique emoji feature allows drivers to select from a wide range of pre-set phrases to be shared through fun and cute images with others on the road. Keep your eyes on the road ahead and let CarWink be your voice to the drivers behind you.”
The device is solar-powered and has an estimated delivery of June 2018. You can pre-order one now for $92 (£66.50).
However, we must admit there are a few things about the new device that have left us more than a little confused – especially some of the emoji choices. I mean, what would you think if a car in front sent you a dancing dinosaur? Is that a threat? Is the other driver telling you: “Beware, partying T-Rexes ahead?” Who knows?!
And while the emoji for ‘Reversing’ is a little confusing, we’re not sure why drivers need emojis for ‘Flirting’ or ‘Go Speed Racer’. Maybe you horny motor-heads can just focus on driving instead of trying to get a date on the road?
Also, we’re always being told to limit the number of distractions while behind the wheel, so do we need this added diversion? We’ve reached out to the CarWink designers and road safety charity Brake for their thoughts and we’ll update this story when we get a reply.