By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Radar detectors are swiftly broadening their duties to include safety camera detection as tens of thousands of speed and red-light cameras are now in use in more than 300 communities across the U.S.
Escort and Bel are offering speed and red-light camera warnings for the first time in a total of three new models while Cobra is expanding the feature to six units, on display at the SEMA show this week. (See story below.)
The feature was first offered a year ago in two Cobra radar detectors.
Escort's new Passport 9500ix and 9500CI models offer a built-in database of camera locations that the user may update through GPS; the detector can then issue a warning when it nears any of the camera locations in the database.
The Escort detectors also carry over an earlier GPS feature that lets users bookmark locations where false radar warnings are common. If the automatic doors at the corner 7-11 regularly set off the radar detector, then the user can bookmark the spot so the detector will not issue a warning at that particular location.
The Passport 9500ix is a portable detector that began shipping in September at a suggested retail of $499. A model with similar features is offered in a custom, professionally installed version, called the Passport 9500CI, which also includes laser "jamming" at a suggested retail of $1,999 installed.
Beltronics is also offering a portable radar detector, model GX65, with similar features to the Passport 9500ix, including GPS safety-camera location and bookmarking of false alert sites, at a suggested retail of $469.
Cobra is shipping its first GPS detectors for speed and red-light cameras to use a USB flash drive to store the database for camera detection. (Previous models used a small module attached by a USB cord).
The new models include the top-of-the-line XRS 9960G, which is bundled with the USB drive of camera locations and which offers free updates. It also lets the user add up to 1,000 locations to tag with warnings.
The unit further adds a new picture-in-picture window on its 1.5-inch OLED screen for simultaneous GPS and radar/laser alerts, should they occur. It further offers a color-coded intensity indicator to show the proximity of the GPS alert. It also features full radar and laser detection, including POP mode, at a suggested retail of $389. It is joined by the $295 XRS 9955, which offers the speed and red-light camera database as an optional USB flash drive and does not offer the picture-in-picture display.
New remote radar detectors include the SRX R10G, which ships with the USB safety camera database and lifetime updates and allows up to 1,000 user-programmable location alerts. It uses a 2.4GHz wireless remote system between the detector and a display with a rechargeable lithium-ion battery at $339.
Also new is an XRS9845 portable detector with optional USB flash-drive safety camera data base at $209.95.
Also at the SEMA show, Blinder USA is unveiling updated versions of its M25 X-Treme and M45 X-Treme laser jammers, which detect and jam speed laser guns. As newer police laser guns move from a "3-foot beam to an 18-foot beam," the company has switched the power supply of its laser jammers to 16 volts from 12 volts and "opened the filters" to cover a wider area, said Blinder national sales manager Leon Gruner. The M25 mounts on automobiles and the M45 mounts on trucks and SUVs at $429 and $679, respectively.
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