If you have sensor envy and would like more smarts in your older ride, consider FenSens. Buying a whole new car just so you won’t knock over garbage cans when you back up isn’t very cost effective. And wired aftermarket add-ons need to be connected to the car’s wiring system, which deters many. The FenSens license plate frame encases a wireless proximity sensor that signals your smartphone as you get closer to cars or other objects as you back up, according to the company.
Short for “fender sensor,” FenSens isn’t shipping yet, but you can get on the mailing list for updates and announcements. The first 1,000 people on the list will also be able to buy their own FenSens for $99, a $50 discount from the full retail price of $149.
The company states that installation takes less than five minutes. All you have to do is remove your old license plate frame (if you have one) and attach the FenSens frame using the included special security screwdriver and screws. Then you just download the free iOS or Android app, pair the plate and your smartphone phone via Low Energy Bluetooth, and you’re good to go, or rather, good to back up.
The FenSens is rated to operate for five months on the included rechargeable battery. When that time is up, you flip up a battery cover, remove and recharge the battery, pop it back in, and you’re set for another five months. No details are available on the battery size or exactly how it is recharged.
The company says the FenSens proximity sensor activates automatically when you start backing up. It sends visual and audible alerts when objects are from 1 to 10 feet away, changing color and increasing the volume as you get closer. Your phone will also vibrate, so even if you can’t see or possibly hear the alert you could feel it in your pocket.
If the FenSens wireless backup system works as promised, it sounds like a useful, easy-to-install, and inexpensive way to transform your ride, at least partly, into the “connected car” category.