Clever little device for displaying road speed

Friday, February 15th, 2013

This, the Snooper My Speed Aura, is a clever little device. Although it’s made by Snooper, a well established speed camera detector company, it actually has a more useful purpose than alerting you to speed camera locations (which it can also do…); it tells you the normal speed limit along a road. By utilising the Navteq road speed database and a GPS signal, it is able to tell you what it thinks is the normal speed for the road for your car (**), and that, to me, is a clever trick.

Actually, it can also detect speed cameras; it has access to the Snooper Aura speed camera database, so using the GPS can also alert you to whether there is a speed camera in the area, but the ability to tell you the speed limit of normal roads would give you confidence over whether you were speeding or not to being with.

Normally £130 (with lifetime updates to the Snooper speed camera database), it’s currently available from Halfords for only £90 (though they don’t keep it in stock, so you need to order it to be delivered to home or to a store which will take a few days, so this deal is not for those who want to buy it straight away.

It only comes with a windscreen suction mount, and I couldn’t find any third party mounts, though it might be possible to modify the mount to be able to mount directly onto the dash, and doesn’t seem to have a battery, so would need power at all times in the car, and the only other downside is that I haven’t tried the Snooper speed camera database to know how accurate it is (of course, you don’t really need to rely upon it with this particular device). In fact, you can buy it without the speed camera database (but the Halfords price with the camera support is still cheaper).

Even better, Snooper have recently updated the software inside the device, and any new devices bought this year have a new trick up their sleeve; you can specify what type of vehicle you have (car, truck, car towing) and it will adjust the speed to reflect your speed on the road, which I think makes the device even more useful, especially for those who occasionally tow, or have caravans, motorhomes etc.

On the screen above you can see it’s displaying a speed camera alert (you can turn off the smiley face if you want a more professional looking device!), when there are no speed cameras around that circle displays the current road speed instead.

** – sometimes it doesn’t know the exact speed for the road, so provides a suggested advisory speed. Also, when speed limits change the device may not know about the change, so you should always used devices like this as a secondary aide, and still pay attention to the road signs!

Although the device comes with lifetime speed camera updates, the updates for the road speed information does cost; it’s currently £10 per year, which seems not too bad, especially when you realise that covers the whole of Europe (where data is available), and not just the UK. I’ve no idea how often Snooper update their data though; their website says the £10 charge allows you to update “once per year”, which does sound a little infrequent to me.

Overall, a clever little device that concentrates on doing one thing, and seems to do it quite well. My only problem with it is the price; for the same price (actually slightly less), you could buy a device such as the Garmin Nuvi 30, with full European navigation as well as the facility for displaying the road speed limit (a function of most recent models from both Garmin and TomTom). In my mind, there are only two situations where the Snooper My Speed really shines; when you drive a truck or tow, so the ability to select vehicle type is important (satnavs that offer that facility are normally much more money), or where you have a built in satnav in your car already, and don’t need a second device, but would like to benefit from knowing the road speed limit at all times.


Pure Highway 300Di now available

Thursday, January 5th, 2012

When launched back at the end of November, the Pure Highway 300Di car DAB adaptor was due to be available within a week or so.  Just to let you know, it’s now available at Halfords (and I’m not sure they have the Exclusive any more either, so you maybe able to find it elsewhere too).  It’s still £180 (plus £25 fitting if you need the service, and most will), but I think that’s good value for a fitted additional DAB radio that’s nicely styled, and will allow a level of future proofing existing cars (if the old FM radio signals are ever turned off, which still isn’t definite).

In my original article, I mentioned a free fitting offer during the “initial launch”; I can only conclude this period has already finished, as the free fitting doesn’t appear to be available anymore.


Pure launch new Highway DAB Radio

Friday, November 25th, 2011

One of the first articles on the UK Gadgeteer website back in 2007 was around the PURE Highway, a portable DAB radio designed for car use.  This turned out to be a very popular device, although one small complaint about it was that it had to connect to the windscreen mount, and you had to have wires all over the dashboard (aerial & power).  Competitors, such as Revo, produced DAB addon car units which needed more permanent fitting in the car, however, Revo have now left the car market.

Well, Pure are addressing these issues and have launched a new Highway DAB radio, the Pure Highway 300Di.  This unit has a small control unit (removable, for when you want to hide the presence of the unit) using an OLED screen (and backlit buttons).  In fact, the simple display / buttons and control knob remind me of the very successful Parrot range of Bluetooth car kit control units).  This connects to a control box designed for placing behind the dash, or in the glovebox.  This needs permanent connections to the car (I suspect it’ll possible to DIY fit it, but it’s not designed for plugging into a cigaretter lighter, unlike the PURE Highway, which remains on sale for those who want a truely portable unit).

As well as providing DAB (via a DAB aerial which needs external fitting), the unit has a USB port allowing you to plug in USB memory sticks, USB devices, or you can use your Apple USB cable and the device will be able to fully control (and charge) your Apple iPod or iPhone.

Most DAB radios only have one tuner, whereas most car radios adopted the idea of dual tuners quite a few years ago; this allows the second tuner to go hunting for a stronger signal without impacting the radio playback, and in fact, the Pure Highway 300Di has a second tuner which will automatically keep the station list up to date with only the stations available as you travel around the country.

To connect it to your car, you can either use an AUX-IN type socket, or it can use an FM transmitter, either wireless using the car’s existing aerial, or it can be wired into the aerial circuit giving a crackle free experience.

In addition, Pure have added a couple of innovative new modes:

  • Forcourt mode, where the device will go into standby for up to 15 minutes, allowing you to return to your car, and the unit will already be ready for action with the same music.  In you are listening to the DAB radio, you can pause (for up to 8 minutes) and continue listening when you return to the car.
  • Picnic mode, where the device is able to continue playing the music for up to an hour after the car ignition is switched off.  The 1 hour limit is to prevent the car battery being drained, although some cars will limit you to only 15 minutes even though the unit could do longer.

For those wanting to add DAB to your existing car, and want something a little more permanent than the PURE Highway, this may well be the device for you.  Pricing will be £179.99, although it’s not yet available, it will be sold exclusively through Halfords for a period.

Having said it’s not available, I believe it should be on sale within the next week or two, and during the initial launch, Halfords will be offering free fitting (normally around £25).


Halfords offer extended for two weeks

Saturday, February 14th, 2009

A month ago, we let you know about an additional discount at Halfords‘ online store; and then told you it was going to end yesterday.  Well, we’re happy to let you know there has been a little extension of this offer, and it nows ends on 26th February.  As a reminder; on top of the normal offers you can receive, we can offer an additional 5% savings on all products (except SatNavs), by using our link, selecting your products, and then entering AFF5OFF at the checkout.

As this offer will now expire on 26 February 2009, you’ll need to use this code to benefit from additional savings fairly quickly.


Halfords offer coming to an end…

Monday, February 2nd, 2009

A couple of weeks ago, we let you know about an additional discount at Halfords‘ online store; on top of the normal offers you can receive, we can offer an additional 5% savings on all products (except SatNavs), by using our link, selecting your products, and then entering AFF5OFF at the checkout.  Just to let you know, this offer will expire in just less than 2 weeks, on 13 February 2009, so if you want to use this code to benefit from additional savings, you’ll need to act quickly.


Halfords 10% off everything offer this weekend

Friday, January 16th, 2009

After announcing our 5% off discount code earlier this week, Halfords are running a special 10% off everything event this weekend, which includes SatNavs (unlike our discount code).  This 10% discount is available online only, and runs over the weekend.  Whilst this promotion is on, you will be unable to use our 5% discount code, but if you are unable to purchase over the weekend, our 5% discount code (enter AFF5OFF at the checkout) will start working again on Monday.

As always, head off to Halfords to see what they have for sale!


UK Gadgeteer special offer from Halfords

Wednesday, January 14th, 2009

Halfords are currently in the middle of a large sale.  On top of the normal offers you can receive, we can offer an additional 5% savings on all products (except SatNavs), by using our link, selecting your products, and then entering AFF5OFF at the checkout.

Halfords have recently cut their home delivery lead time from 5 days to 4 days, and can now offer next day delivery if you order before 2pm.

We don’t have an end date for this discount code, but be aware it may expire when the current sale finishes.