Ex-Apple engineers create solar-powered backup camera


Backup cameras will soon become mandatory in all new cars, but for those of us with an older vehicle, solutions tend to be pricey and cumbersome to install.

A company called Pearl, which is composed almost entirely of former Apple engineers, says it has created a solution called RearVision. It's a solar-powered backup camera that is integrated into a license plate frame. The elegant fix installs in just a minute with a screwdriver, just like the dealer frame you probably took off of your car the day you brought it home. 

Pearl RearVision

Pearl RearVision

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Then, the integrated camera streams video footage directly to a user's smartphone. The system includes a magnetic smartphone mount that can be clipped to a vehicle's air vents, a solution that kills two birds with one stone. No more losing your mobile phone between your seat and the center console.

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RearVision works with an on-board diagnostics, or OBD II, adapter that plugs into a car's factory port. It's through this adapter that Pearl knows when a vehicle is put into reverse, which automatically pulls up the backup camera on a smartphone. 

At $499, RearVision isn't inexpensive, but it is a remarkably simple solution. And Pearl says it has more plans for automotive accessories in the future. 

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