Kickstarter projects serve many purposes, and for those of us who spend over an hour each day getting to and from work, shuffling kids around, or even just getting to that particular GameStop with the best 3DS selection, one of the most noble is keeping our automobiles in good shape. Such is the purpose of Dash, which plugs into your car’s diagnostic port and syncs wirelessly to your iPhone, iPod or iPod touch to provide real time updates on fuel efficiency, engine problems, driving patterns, and more.
The Dash Kickstarter page explains how it works:
Dash is a Bluetooth low energy device that plugs into your vehicle and wirelessly transmits data to your iPhone or iPad (Android coming soon!). As you drive, Dash is constantly reading information from your car’s engine computer and sending it to the Dash App for tracking and analysis. At the end of each trip, your data can be published to your account at drivewithdash.com for further review or share with others.
The goal of this, of course, is help change the way people think about driving, and the developers believe they have done this by creating a hardware/app combo with the following features:
- Easy to use – Dash stays plugged into the On-Board Diagnostics (OBD) port. It syncs to your iOS device via low energy Bluetooth 4.0 with the dedicated app.
- Dedicated app – The iOS application makes it easy for users to sort through and understand their data. With a customizable dashboard you can drag and drop the data which you see in real time.
- Money saver – Dash allows you to monitor engine health and your driving patterns, which can help you make changes to increase fuel economy. Not only can this help reduce gas costs, it can help reduce emissions as well.
- Built in memory – Dash can save basic trip data without having your iOS device connected or in the car.
- Troubleshooter – Dash can read engine malfunction codes, explain them, and offer potential solutions which can help save you a trip to the mechanic.
As for compatibility, the Dash hardware can connect with any car sold in the U.S. in 1996 or later, 1998 or later in Canada (Dash is currently only available in the U.S. and Canada). The app is compatible with iPhone 4S/5, iPad 3/4, iPad mini, and iPod Touch 5, with an Android version coming soon.
At press time, the Dash Kickstarter campaign has nearly $40,000 in pledges towards its $750,000 goal with 41 days to go. Pledge levels being at $5, with a Dash unit being included starting at $69.
For more information, visit drivewithdash.com.
Update: April 1, 2013
The folks at Dash contacted us this morning to let us know Dash now supports Android and international backers. From the website:
After plenty of feedback from the Dash community, we are excited to announce that Dash will support Android (Bluetooth 4.0) devices. The Android App will also be available at time of shipment.
Dash is also ready to expand to the following countries:
United States (Gas) 1996+
United States (Diesel) 2004+
Canada (Gas) 1998+
Europe + UK (Gas) 2001+
Europe + UK (Diesel) 2004+
Australia + NZ (Gas/Diesel) 2006+
Vehicles made prior to the dates above may still be OBDII certified.