By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
CHICAGO — While radar detectors can be somewhat of a sleepy segment, Cobra expects product sales to improve in 2013, and it’s peppering the category with multiple new entrants and a planned update for its iRadar Community.
Chris Kooistra, Cobra marketing services director, noted to TWICE that although the radar detector market didn’t “grow by leaps and bounds last year,” it still remained steady for the company. “I’m not sure if you’re going to see the really high-end stuff move as fast as the low-to midrange stuff, but overall, I think we’re in pretty good shape.”
Cobra went to International CES last month with five new detectors, including what it called the first under-the-hood detector with Bluetooth. Geared toward the professional 12-volt installer, the S series ($299, shipping in August) is meant to reduce the installation time and costs associated with traditional under-the-hood detectors. The detector supports Cobra’s alert-sharing iRadar Community, which in turn is scheduled for updates during this year.
Although Kooistra couldn’t share all the upcoming enhancements planned for iRadar, he did say that it will feature an all-new interface for easier navigation, with a map view instead of a dashboard view. It will also have life traffic and car-finding functionality, so consumers can use the iRadar app to receive directions back to their parked car.
More updates will follow throughout the year, with “significant changes” planned.
Also compatible with the iRadar app is the new Atom detector, which Cobra said is 35 percent smaller than most detectors on the market. He noted, “It used to be, the bigger the horn, the greater the [range]. But we’ve been able to do the circuitry a different way to increase the range but still make [the detector] smaller.”
The Atom will be available in May for $199.
Cobra is planning a full marketing push for the S series and the Atom, as well as for its new SPX line of stand-alone detectors. The company will do online and print advertising, as well as press tours, and consumer and trade events. The SPX line features three models, all shipping in April: SPX5300, $89.99; SPX5400, $99.99; and SPX5500, $129.
This TWICE webinar, hosted by senior editor Alan Wolf, will take a look at what may be the hottest CE products at retail that will be sold during the all-important fourth quarter. Top technologies, market strategies and industry trends will be discussed with industry analysts and executives.