OnStar has long sold an aftermarket version of their connected rear view mirror. It includes – provided you’re willing to pay the monthly or yearly fee – the company’s concierge and emergency roadside service. However, installation requires you to replace your existing rear view mirror, which is hardly ideal for those on a lease. Moreover, it’s not a product that is exactly cutting edge and largely only appeals to those who are applicable for the senior discount at Denny’s.
While this Android rear view mirror, titled the Shift, is hardly a fully baked product, it’s most certainly unique. First off, it installs or fits over your existing rear view mirror. Power concerns aside – there is a 500mAh battery and an included car charger – this is a far more attractive proposition then replacing the whole thing. Sure, you’ll have to drape a cord to your cigarette lighter adapter, but there are ways to conceal that.
On board is a 5-inch touchscreen (800×480), Android 4.0 and built-in GPS. So, needless to say, this mirror can deliver turn-by-turn directions. Included is a Bluetooth headset that when docked automatically charges. To surf the net, or get online, you’ll of course need a Bluetooth enabled smartphone with an Internet connection as there is no mention of a SIM card slot of any sort. Additionally, there is an FM transmitter for piping tunes to your car’s stereo, that is of course assuming your antenna isn’t at the rear of the vehicle. And if that isn’t enough tech wizardry for you, there is even a 720p capable DVR camera that can rotate 360 degrees so you can record in any direction to an inserted microSD card slot.
You can grab the Shift Android Rear View Mirror for $235 from TheFancy, though Chinavasion sells it for slightly cheaper.