Anyone who’s ever been in a car with me driving knows I’m always having two conversations: one with my passenger(s), and the other with other drivers as they cut me off, pass too close, tailgate, or drive a “no sale blue” (a phrase that appears surprisingly absent on the Internet, only good reference here) Oldsmobuick. Unfortunately, it seems that for the most part, these other drivers can’t quite seem to hear me.
I heard today that Roadmaster USA is launching two products that allow scrolling messages to display, either in your rear window or on your license plate. Not only that, it’s a customizable message. Sounds like a product made it heaven!
The products come priced at $69, and come with a mounting kit and a remote control. From reading the manual, it seems that the programming process might be a little clunky (obviously, I’d have it work with USB and a simple PC app), but since the pre-programmed messages are things like “Everybody is entitled to my opinion” and “Holiday Opening Hours”, I think I’d need to spice it up a bit. There’s the obvious “LIVEdigitally” but really, how much fun is that? I think my vocabulary would probably include:
- Either “Stop picking your nose.” or “
, , was that you?”
- “No Vacancy” (I don’t know why, I just think it’d be fun)
- “Days since last accident… 002”
- “In the time it took you to read this message, shouldn’t you have been watching the road?”
From their Web site, it seems like the units go on sale immediately. Since my wife’s current mode of ‘convergence’ is really about getting rid of extra gadgets, I don’t think I’ll be picking one up myself, but if anyone grabs one, come back and share your thoughts!
I’m also looking forward to a second generation version, in which I’d love to see the company add SMS capabilities so I can update the message in real-time. I’m sure that’d be safe, right?
I’ve dreamed of this for a while, but thought it would only get people into trouble – imagine if other drivers actually heard what you screamed at them. In Texas, you would get shot.
I think the best implementation would be a record button on the steering wheel that allows you to record a voice message and then translates it to your scrolling messageboard.
A friend of mine thinks everyone’s license plate should be their cell phone numbers so people can call each other and offer driving advice. I’m not sure it would work out quite like that.