pearl rearvision

As cars get smarter, a few companies have entered the space to make sure those still driving models from the ’90s don’t feel left out.

Pearl, a startup created by former Apple engineers, is one of these companies. Since it emerged from stealth mode last June, Pearl has been selling its $500 RearVision product: a camera that clicks to the border of your license plate and streams live video to your smartphone.

The device is meant to give old cars a much-needed tech upgrade in an era where new vehicles are essentially computers on wheels. Most, if not all, new cars come with infotainment consoles that at the very least show what’s behind you while you’re reversing. But that barely scratches the surface of the tech entering the automotive space, from heads-up displays to Amazon’s Alexa.

Pearl’s RearVision is meant to offer a solution to car owners who want to spruce up older vehicle models in an increasingly tech-dominated industry. Here’s what it was like to use:

The Pearl RearVision comes in an unobtrusive white box that neatly organizes all of the different components. As clearly labeled on the back of the box, the RearVision works with iOS and Android devices.

The first thing you see when you open the box is the main product itself: the license plate border with two, high-definition cameras.

The black bar at the bottom of the frame is actually an array of solar panels that power the HD cameras above it. Pearl says the camera will stay fully charged as long as you take the car out semi-regularly, but there’s also a USB port in the back if you tend to keep your car in a garage.

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