For road trips over an hour, a radar detector is like an American Express card—I never leave home without it. With the soaring costs of traffic fines and insurance premiums, it's almost silly to tempt fate otherwise. That said, there are limitations. An office must have his radar switched on, and then there's range—the radar detector has to be within physical vicinity of the radar/laser source. Fortunately, there's a new technology that helps us with the latter.
Escort, the Cincinnati, Ohio-based radar/laser detector manufacturer, recently introduced Escort Live, a service for smartphones to help identify potential radar or laser sources. The Escort Live app's strength relies on up-to-date user-generated content, whereby Escort Live-equipped consumers can report local hazards such as speed traps, red light cameras and speed cameras. Escort then aggregates the information and disseminates it along with its pre-existing database of hazards to users' smartphones. Now, instead of being alerted when in physical range of a radar/laser threats, Escort Live subscribers will identify them long before they actually see them.
To access the service, an iPhone (iPhone 4S, iPhone 4, and iPhone 3GS using 4.1 iOS or later) and compatible Escort radar detector (Passport 9500ix, RedLine and most Passport 8500 X50 models) are necessary. With those two criteria met, the Escort Live app needs to be downloaded and a SmartCord Live purchased. The SmartCord Live replaces the Escort radar detector's power cord with a Bluetooth-enabled unit that enables communication with the iPhone. It also comes equipped with an additional USB port to charge other devices (read: iPhone).
The SmartCord Live retails for $79.95, which includes a subscription to the Escort Live service through 2012. After the introductory period, Escort anticipates the subscription will go for an additional $39.95 a year. An Android version will be available shortly. For more, go to: