Become a MacRumors Supporter for $25/year with no ads, private forums, and more!

Dozens of Former Apple Employees Team Up to Launch ‘RearVision' Vehicle Camera

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
51,484
13,123



A group of three former Apple engineers, along with around 50 various designers and workers also formerly employed by Apple, have created a new startup in the vehicle accessory market, called Pearl, and today announced pre-orders on their product "RearVision." The $500 device is an attachable license plate accessory that connects via Bluetooth to an iOS or Android smartphone, displaying a 180-degree rear-view field of vision when backing up your car (via The Verge).


The RearVision unit comes with a dongle that connects with a vehicle's on-board diagnostic port to help communicate and determine the car's speed, and battery power isn't a concern since the device charges using an integrated solar panel. Bryan Gardner, one of the co-founders of the company, said that one full day of sun equates to an entire week of charge for the device, and the RearVision can store one month of battery in its reserves.

Otherwise, the device functions like many integrated rear-view cameras: when backing up, the device's dual-camera system automatically sends video to the connected smartphone in optional portrait view (with two levels of zoom) or landscape view. Two alternate alerts emit from the smartphone when the RearVision camera wants the user to slow down for a passerby or another car, and a more insistent sound when a collision might be imminent and the driver should stop the car completely.


Once the car is in forward motion above 10 mph, RearVision shuts off the rear-view camera and moves into a "Home Screen" section of the app. Here, users can choose their favorite and most used driving apps -- Google Maps, Apple Maps, Spotify, Apple Music, etc -- and place them in the Home Screen of RearVision's app, which is generally a launching shortcut to quickly access the designated apps while on the move.

Gardner hopes that the company's angle to support an install base of users (who have older cars without pre-installed rear-view cameras) will help promote safety in the automotive industry. The National Highway Safety Administration recently put into motion a ruling that will make all new cars launching in 2018 and beyond come with such technology ready for the user, but that still leaves a large swath of used and pre-owned vehicles without the ease-of-mind rear-view cameras can provide.

While the government can insist new cars get safer, they can't do anything about older vehicles. That is both a crisis and an opportunity. "There's about 7 percent of new car inventory that comes in the market every year. That leaves more than 90 percent of the cars are not new every year," says Bryson Gardner, Pearl's co-founder and CEO.

"We saw the entire industry focused on new cars. So we figured let's focus on the existing install base. " Gardner confirmed that the company already has other products in mind, but was coy about exactly what would come next. "If you were to go buy a Mercedes and there's a driver awareness package, all of the things in there is the most important to get into the car in the short term."
Those interested can pre-order the RearVision today for $499.99, with Pearl promising its knowledge of the Apple supply chain will help greatly in eliminating "any of the manufacturing pitfalls that have become common among small hardware startups." The company also says that set-up is simple and doesn't require anything besides a screwdriver and your smartphone. As of writing, the predicted shipping date for Pearl's RearVision camera is sometime in September.

Article Link: Dozens of Former Apple Employees Team Up to Launch 'RearVision' Vehicle Camera
 
  • Like
Reactions: grahamperrin

acegreen

macrumors regular
Jun 25, 2015
170
210
Except for that little dongle you have to plug into the car, this looks great. Solves a real problem. Would have been also nice if it attached the license plate without a screw, maybe just a clip on multiple sides.
 
  • Like
Reactions: aesc80 and ckoerner
Comment

stiligFox

macrumors 65816
Apr 24, 2009
1,231
707
10.0.1.3
It would be awesome if they could create an API or plugin for other GPS apps to use; having to launch their app each time I get ready to drive just so I can see behind me is... a bit awkward I think. The advantage of most rear facing cameras is that they are instant, as soon as you put the car into reverse, without having to have an app open.

That said, I like the clean approach. I have an old (read 1992) car, and finding a place to mount a rear facing camera without doing serious modifications isn't easy.
 
Comment

3568378

Suspended
Dec 30, 2015
129
138
Orlando, FL
Yeah not for $500.

Besides, I learned to drive--and parallel park--without a rear view camera and have done just fine for 20 years. They talk about distracted drivers these days- every time I drive by a brand new car going down the highway at night with a giant fully illuminated touch screen shining bright in the car cabin I can't help but think we've missed the point. I go nuts when my kids need the cabin dome lights on for 30 seconds to find a dropped Cheerio when I'm driving at night because of the distraction.
 
Comment

yaxomoxay

macrumors demi-god
Mar 3, 2010
5,363
30,018
Texas
Yeah not for $500.

Besides, I learned to drive--and parallel park--without a rear view camera and have done just fine for 20 years. They talk about distracted drivers these days- every time I drive by a brand new car going down the highway at night with a giant fully illuminated touch screen shining bright in the car cabin I can't help but think we've missed the point. I go nuts when my kids need the cabin dome lights on for 30 seconds to find a dropped Cheerio when I'm driving at night because of the distraction.

True, but in all fairness I live in a neighborhood full of children and the backup camera has proven useful as an added security feature.
 
Comment

yanki01

macrumors 68040
Feb 28, 2009
3,566
1,673
for $500, you're on your way to buying an OE type backup camera/navigation screen upgrade for your radio. i'd rather have that than a license plate camera.

i have a backup cam/navigation in my truck and use it all the time. i can't backup my wifes camry for the life of me. always looking at the dash for the camera.
 
Comment

Chupa Chupa

macrumors G5
Jul 16, 2002
14,834
7,394
These have existed in the auto aftermarket arena for years. They are far less then $500 and don't require your phone...

FWIW
DLM

What do they use for a screen then? Most cars w/o backup sensors also don't have built-in color screens.
 
  • Like
Reactions: The Barron
Comment

MacDann

macrumors 6502a
Trying hard to understand the justification for the price when equivalent backup camera devices, albeit hard wired and or more basic, retail for under $50. The theft issue is a real one, too. Just pop into Harbor Freight and for under $10 you can buy a whole set of security fastener "bits" to remove just about anything.

This is a big fail in my mind, at least at the price point they're offering it at.

MacDann
 
Comment

newdeal

macrumors 68020
Oct 21, 2009
2,400
1,524
The best use to me for a backup camera is hooking up a trailer, the camera makes that far easier when lining up the ball with the hitch. Other than that though since I don't back into parking spaces I don't really care about the rear camera, its easier to backup with the side mirrors than with a camera by about a million percent
 
Comment
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.