Sunnyvale, Calif. - PLX Devices took the wraps off a series of products that lets users connect to a car's onboard diagnostic port via their smartphone.
Already available for some time, the Kiwi is billed as a plug-and-play hardware piece that can install into any car that was manufactured after 1996 by plugging into the car's OBDII port. PLX has now expanded its capabilities by enabling it to be paired with an iPhone or Android. When connected with the Kiwi Wifi or Kiwi Bluetooth, users can view a car's speed, RPM, engine load, Real Time Dyno, and engine check diagnostics via their iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch or Android phone.
The Kiwi piece itself measures 2.5 inches by 1.25 inches by 0.6 inches, PLX said.
The Kiwi Wifi uses a Wi-Fi network to form a link with the Apple devices, whereas the Kiwi Bluetooth is for Android phones. Features and prices for the two models differ slightly.
The Kiwi Wifi ($149) is compatible with such apps as Rev, DashCommand, SpeedPort and FuzzyCar, and has such features as check engine diagnostic tools, horsepower and torque calculations, gauge themes and race utilities, among others.
The Kiwi Bluetooth, meanwhile, is compatible with such apps as Torque, alOBD Scanner, OBDroid and VoyagerConnect. Features include fuel consumption MPG meter, check engine diagnostic tools, horsepower and torque calculations, gauge themes and race utilities, among others. It drops in price from the Kiwi Wifi, retailing for a suggested $99.99.
According to a company spokesman, the stark price difference between the two versions is because of the increased expense in manufacturing the Kiwi Wifi and the cost of getting it to work on the iPhone.