Doesn't seem like much has been heard of the idea since then.
Now, though, a smaller company has started a Kickstarter campaign to fund the initial purchase order of an "interactive digital bumper sticker that enables drivers and passengers to communicate socially and extend their personal identity on the road" — basically a single-color LED screen that attaches behind a car license plate.
Drivers can use their mobile phones to text messages to their screens that will then appear on the "bumper sticker" for other drivers to read.
According to a release from SNAPJAW LLC, which bills itself as "a social telematics company," drivers can personalize and update their SNAPJAW via text message or by using a smartphone app, "which includes voice-to-text capability to enhance safety." The devices also relay AMBER Alerts and traffic warnings, the company said.
According to the announcement, SNAPJAW has launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund its initial purchase order (there actually are two SNAPJAW Kickstarter pages; one active, one inactive) and should begin shipping to users in October. SNAPJAW will retail at $149.99, which includes the first year of wireless service.
"SNAPJAW is at the intersection of personalization, social media and mobile communications," said company founder and CEO Alex Panelli, in the announcement. "It's a civil way for drivers to communicate with one another — whether that's saying to someone, 'Your taillight is out,' or 'Nice ride.'"
Sounds pretty cool, but ...
I have to wonder if (a) there aren't some legislative hurdles that might need to be considered here, and (b) how safe these things are.
And by "How safe are they?" I'm not just asking if it might be a little dangerously distracting for a driver to be trying to read the message I'm posting for them as they drive behind me. I'm also wondering how many road-rage cases will be incited by drivers like me who won't be able to resist telling other drivers just how bad a job of driving they're doing — likely in fairly explicit language.
At any rate, here's a video about the SNAPJAW:
So what do you think? Good or bad idea? Let us know in the comments section below.