You might remember the Piper, but Russell Ure and the team behind it are back. This time they aim to bring an all-in-one solution to make your car connected that means solid hardware and a unique application experience together. Introducing Raven, yes the bird’s name, but as an all-in-one connected car solution.
I had the chance to speak with Russell Ure ahead of the launch, and it was neat to see where the idea came from. Specifically, in that Piper was founded for the need of security for apartments, and Raven is here to fill the void in a car. Think of it as a typical telematics device on steroids– One that allows for monitoring, recording moments, navigation, speed warnings, and more.
Raven will sit on your dashboard in almost any spot, it looks similar to that of a rearview mirror and is designed to fit in with a car esthetic. It will come in one color option at launch, black and should go well with any coloring. You have a front view camera which looks out onto the road and a rearview camera which looks into the cabin of the vehicle. Both of these lenses record in 1080pHD and feature Night Vision through IR. Allowing you to see the inside of the car when it is parked and monitor the road during a nighttime trip. The camera facing the cabin can analyze and respond to gestures, and this is a way to communicate with Raven while you are driving.
Powering the Raven is a custom Qualcomm Snapdragon Processor and a custom version of Android. The two displays on Raven are essentially Android apps, specific ones to the device, and allow you to see your speed, direction, and even navigation. You can customize what is shown on the display through the Raven app, and you can add in Weather and several others. You can also record moments on the road with a simple wave or custom gesture. The Raven gets power through the OBD-II port, which means it can also get power when the vehicle is off. Which allows you to monitor your vehicle when it is parked somewhere overnight.
There are plenty of connections inside, including WiFi and Bluetooth. But there is also 4G LTE connectivity; Raven is saying plans should start at $5 a month. And this allows you to stream video and locate the vehicle while on the road. It can also communicate with a mapping service, MapBox so that you can know the speed limit and be warned if you go over. You can monitor the vehicle, including a map of where it has been, live video streams, and telematics diagnostic from within the application. You can also share it with different users through the app, which is great if you had multiple drives or several vehicles.
Raven is launching today, but it will be a bit before it ships as the company will begin shipping in Quarter 1 of next year. The good news is that pre-orders will start in just a few weeks during Quarter 4 and you can expect a full review on the sire come that time.