Every annual SEMA Show offers a unique set of storylines, and the 2008 event was no different. Coming-out parties for the Chevy Camaro and Dodge Challenger, the arrival of a legitimate Korean sports car in the Hyundai Genesis, and the growth spurt in performance-minded “green” technologies and projects highlighted last fall’s Show.
But one trend went relatively unnoticed until now: Buyers showed more interest in new mobile-electronics products than in any other category. And not just regular mobile electronics, which many interpret simply as car audio/video products, but products that improve and monitor engine performance, enhance safety and can record a blistering run around Road America in high-definition.
SEMA used a new digital tracking method at the 2008 New Products Showcase which allowed visitors to use a key fob to scan the barcodes of products that interested them.
All of the top 10 most-scanned products were an electronic device, four of the 10 entered for consideration as Best New Mobile Electronics Product.
Drawing the most interest was an interface box that sends engine performance data and analysis to an Apple iPhone or iPod.
Buyers accounted for nearly 22,000 of the 25,300 scans, which also included those from media, exhibitors and non-buyers. The top 10 products receiving the most interest included:
#1: Innovate Motorsports OT-2 OpenTune Interface:
OBD-II interface for Apple iPhone or iPod Touch that includes a software performance computer, an efficiency calculator and advanced diagnostics.
#2: Gentex Rear Camera Display:
An auto-dimming mirror with On Star capability and a 3.5-inch monitor for backup purposes.
#3: Chase Cam Auto Record:
Using motion-sensing recording, the ChaseCam Auto-Record feature can record an entire weekend of racing without pushing a single button.
#4: Maxima ARS:
Advanced mobile-electronics system offers security, safety, communication, on-road warnings and diagnostic features.
#5: Big Time Auto Parts/Austin Int'l 4-Channel Full-Version Vehicle Monitor System
This compact four-channel camera system not only relays real-time camera views, but can also record them.
#6: Chase Cam HD
A high-definition solid state video recorder with the ChaseCam motion-sensing Auto-Record.
#7: G-TECH/Pro EGS
The expandable Gauge System (EGS) incorporates an optional wideband oxygen sensor, an OBD-II scan tool, an eight-channel data acquisition module and more.
#8: Autometer Ecometer
Enables drivers to visually monitor how driving habits impact fuel consumption and mpg performance. It won 2nd place in Best New Mobile Electronics category.
#9: Autonet Mobile
The router turns any car into a WiFi hotspot, allowing multiple passengers to connect Wi-Fi-enabled gadgets to the Internet simultaneously.
#10: Dash Command
A touchscreen software delivering virtual dashboards for the dyno, skid pad and race track. Fully customizable, skin-able and scalable for any screen size/resolution. Works on any laptop, in-car Windows computer or iPhone/iPod.