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Cobra Updates iRadar With User Info Sharing

8/22/2011 12:01:00 AM Eastern

CHICAGO — Cobra Electronics is updating its
iRadar app to include social-media sharing capabilities,
the company told TWICE.

The free app, which was introduced last year
for iPhones and Android-based smartphones,
now lets users enter information using their
smartphones to alert other drivers in real time
about impending speed traps and other road
activity.

Drivers will receive alerts from other iRadar
users who are roughly 10 miles from them.

The Cobra iRadar Community will let users
share real-time alerts for such things as police
activity, dangerous
intersections
and accidents.
When
a user shares
information, the
info will go up
to the Cloud
and then down
to other iRadar
users in
the area, said
Chris Kooistra,
Cobra marketing
services
director.

The full enhancement
will
roll out in early
to mid-September
as a free
upgrade to the
existing app.

The app currently provides the locations of
red-light cameras, speed cameras, dangerous
intersections, and speed traps, which show
up as red circular icons on the map screen
of the smartphone. User-reported locations
that Cobra has not verified show up as green
squares.

To verify user-generated reports, Cobra initiates
the following process: “If user reports
are confirmed by multiple users, our team will
flag the location for verification,” Kooistra explained.
“If we confirm it, we will add the location
to our Aura database, and the alert will
show up as a red icon on the screen instead
of a green one.”

Users will also be able to flag entries as real
or false, and the app will use the feedback to
adjust the significance of the report and when
they should expire. “For example,” Kooistra
said, “a live-police report will be displayed for
only a short period of time because police move
around, but a red-light camera report will be
more or less permanent.”

Cobra is very happy with the success of
iRadar, Kooistra said. It has been downloaded
86,000 times by iPhone users and 76,000
times by Android users, according to the company,
which will be running new web and print
ads to announce the enhancement.

The iRadar Community is somewhat similar
to the SpeedTrapUSA.com website that Escort
rolled out earlier this year. That database also
collects user-shared info about speed traps, but
updates are downloaded from Escort’s website
rather than operating as an app.

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