Walking around CES Unveiled on the first day of CES 2011, I ran into a little company called Mavizon Tech, showcasing their product with a beautiful name Mavia. I you've never heard of Mavizon, don't feel bad - they don't have many consumer-facing products just yet, but it's all about to change when Mavia hits the market later this year.
What is Mavia? It's a little gizmo box that plugs into your car's diagnostics port and sits there, drawing the power from the aforementioned port. Inside the Mavia - a GPS module and a 3G radio that is able to broadcast a signal anywhere there is 3G reception (I forgot whether they use T-Mobile or AT&T, but it's one of those).
Here are the things Mavia can do:
- First and foremost, since Mavia plugs into the diagnostics port, which is present on any car made since 1996, it will tell you exactly what that blinking light on your console means in plain English. It will also keep the stats and let you know when it's time for maintenance. All of the above can be viewed either on the website or via an Android/iPhone app (unfortunately, they couldn't demo the apps just yet, and the only image on their site with the app in it has an iPhone)
- Mavia will act as a LoJack, giving you the ability to track your car via GPS, whether because it was stolen or in case you forgot where you've parked it. Apparently, it can track your friends' devices as well, so keeping together during the next group trip may be easier than ever (we'll see how well that works - I see a bunch of privacy issues there, although it does seem similar to Latitude, but for cars. Hey, cars need love too)
- Thanks to its 3G radio and diagnostics hookup, Mavia can automatically text your family members in case of an accident or notify police if you car is stolen
Mavia will cost under $300 and will not have any monthly 3G fees, similar to Amazon Kindle's Whispernet. The little gadget will be available sometimes in 2011, so look out for it at electronics retailers soon. Frankly, I think every dealer should include this little device as an option due to the benefits it can provide at a price that is not nearly as high as LoJack alone (though, not nearly as stealthy either).