So there I was… in the dead of winter without having a clue where my SUV was parked. I was tired, cold and scared. Then I remember I was reviewing a C-Car! I pulled the C-Car car finding keychain out of my pocket, dialed the device to the car and walked in the direction of the arrow. A few seconds later I arrived at my car safe and sound!
Ok, maybe I was not cold and scared but I was tired because my wife made me run out for bagels first thing in the morning. Since I live around Atlanta and we’re having an unusually warm winter, the morning temperature had dipped to the mid fifties so I was not all that cold. I was not scared either because I managed to get a parking spot five feet from the Manhattan bagel shop’s door, but the C-Car worked nonetheless!
The C-Car, billed as the “Poor Man’s GPS”, does not use batteries, electricity, antennas or Global Positioning Systems (GPS’s) but uses the earth’s magenetic field to figure the relative position between two sources. The two sources are usually you and your car, but I found the way back to a bathroom and at one point my cat. Of course if my cat had moved the C-Car wouldn’t track her position, but since she’s a cat I figured I would not have to worry.
The product is marketed to outdoor sports enthusiasts, teachers, Boy and Girl Scouts, hikers and campers not to mention the mall shoppers that lose their vehicles. The C-Car can be used as a marketing tool as well as the car logo can be replaced with any other logo such as a mascot or company logo through special ordering.
To use the product you point the C-Car at your car and dial the device to the car logo matches up. Then you go shopping, watch a football game or go hiking. When you get back to the parking lot simply dial the device so the car logo outline matches up and walk in the direction of the arrow.
The only problem I found (which is a known limitation in the current version of the C-Car) is that the device only works in a half of circle radius (West to East and North or West to East and South). Also, you need to avoid magnetic fields, large electric sources, large objects, simply remembering to “set the image” before you leave your car as well as not being able to tell what level of a parking garage you are on. If you work at a power plant and plan to use the C-Car to find your car in the parking lot… you might be out of luck.
Since the price of each unit is only $4.95, this simple to use product is more than affordable for anyone. If you know someone that loses their car or are a teacher or work with the scouts, the product is well worth the cost.
The next version will have an enhancement which seperates the 360 degree circle bys using two image colors thus differentiating the two 180 degree halves of the circle. The new unit will also have a stronger magnet and come in multiple colors.
You can purchase C-Cars from www.mytithe.com.
What’s Groovy: The simplicity and science of the C-Car rates high in the grooviness factor for the geeks. The keychain uses
simple magnetism and the earth’s magnetic field to remember the relative positioning and direction of two objects
(you and your car).
What’s Sucky: The C-Car’s have a 180 degree limitation meaning the piece inside that revolves helping to locate the car does
not differentiate around a full circle. We’ve been notified that the next generation has an enhancement that
fixes this problem by separating the 360 degree circle by using two image colors differentiating the two 180
degree halves of the circle.
|The product features a simple to use interface where you simply dial in the device to your car’s position then
to find your car, rotate the dial on the C-Car and walk in the direction of the arrow. The car logo can be
replaced with another logo such as a mascot or company logo and used as a marketing tool.
|As mentioned in the “What’s Sucky” section, the current generation of C-Car has a 180 degree limitation. Other
than that one problem, the C-Car worked fine during my tests. Some other limitations that I did not run up
against include large electric sources and magnetic fields which drive the C-Car crazy and the fact that the
C-Car cannot tell you which parking level you are on.
|I carried the C-Car around in my pocket for roughly two weeks and I did not manage to break it. I also sat
on the product once or twice with no product malfunctions.
|Try comparing a GPS unit to the C-Car car finding keychain! The C-Car’s $4.95 price tag is WELL worth the
|Overall the product works as advertised and the next generation of the C-Car will work as your want the product to work (and will deserve a perfect rating). This is a great teaching tool for the earth’s magnetic field and magnetism and for a price tag of
$4.95 you cannot go wrong!