The NavMirror II: The Smart Mirror

Cars are coming standard these days with things that used to be only available if you purchased an upgrade trim package. Look at the infotainment systems being offered in most new cars–it used to be that luxury models offered this standard, but now even a Honda CRV comes with built-in backup camera–the screen goes from navigation screen to rearview just by putting the car into reverse.

Sedans are featuring these information screens as well, despite the lack of dash space when compared to a minivan or SUV. Someone was bound to invent a better way, and it was Mobile Safety Accessories–they have recently announced their Android 4.2 touch-screen rearview mirror featuring all kinds of options that up until recently, were only available via in-dash infotainment system. Not only can you get Bluetooth and WiFi via your rearview mirror, you can also access GPS, Google Play, and backup and DVR cameras.

The Mirror

It’s really just an infotainment system that isn’t mounted in your dashboard. And even if you have an in-dash infotainment system, you’ll can augment your current system with it. It is the first Android-based replacement rearview mirror, from a company that created the Windows CE-based NavMirror.

Why the mirror? The company stated that drivers are often glancing at their rearview mirror numerous times during their drive. It’s very natural, and far less distracting than glancing at your dashboard or looking down at your device. This is why the company chose the Android platform. You can use Google Play to download whatever travel-related app you desire, and then use the app on your rearview mirror.

It features 512MB RAM, and gives you images on a 5-inch, 800×480-pixel capacitive touchscreen. You are able to toggle the information screen on and off, choosing to see the standard rearview image instead. Not only does it give you a high-res backup camera, it allows you to continuously record via front DVR camera. Just pop a card into the provided SIM card slot. There is an external GPS antenna to use Google Maps and other similar navigation apps.

Another Smart Mirror

Nissan also makes a smart mirror, offered on new models like the Rogue. Instead of dimming the glaring headlights in the mirror at night, the switch on the front actually puts you into camera mode. The feed is provided by a 1.3mp camera located in the trunk. Now when you’re backing up, you’re still using your mirrors!

Another problem this mirror solves is when your back seat is loaded with passengers. Your view of the road behind you is blocked by your passengers. The mirror used on the Nissan addresses this issue, and increases your field of vision from 17 degrees (standard rearview mirror) to 48 degrees.

This mirror is only available as an add-on item in Japan. It hasn’t been said what it will cost when it makes its way here to the US. Cadillac has also announced its plans to include a smart mirror offering 1,280×240 rearview. They say it will be available in the 2015 CT6, and might cross over into other models in the future.

Is It Necessary?

All cars are going to have to come standard with a car backup camera system by federal law regardless, and having options means you can get a system that works for you. Anything that increases field of vision and makes your driving safer is a good thing, you just need to get used to using it.

Since we all glance up at the rearview mirror, the idea it is a more natural and less distracting way of checking what’s behind us makes sense. But isn’t the in-dash screen just as easy to use? If you need help with backup camera installation, or the best backup camera, make sure to call us at QuickVu today.

Will you choose this sort of solution for your backup camera system, or will you rely on more traditional options?