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Cobra iRadar on the CES 2011 show floor


We liked the idea of the iRadar when we first heard about it, and Cobra put the device front and center at its CES 2011 booth (well, right next to the girls in skimpy police uniforms). The iRadar is a radar detector that hooks right up to Cobra's official iPhone app, and it will not only alert you when you see speed radar units out on the road, but it will also tune in to two different services. "Aura" is Cobra's own service that keeps a "verified" database of red light cameras and speed traps, and the iRadar ThreatCenter is a database specific to the iRadar that tracks, in real time, when the iRadar goes off. In other words, if someone with an iRadar drives by a speed trap right before you do, you'll be alerted ahead of time.

Cobra told us that it has seen over 30,000 downloads of the app, so there's quite a bit of interest out there. The iRadar itself is designed to be a very simple radar detector -- it's just got a small button and a speaker, since most of the information is relayed through the iPhone. But Cobra confirmed that it is working on other radar detector models that will work with the app (as well as an Android version sooner rather than later), and it's even considering bringing the ThreatCenter system to non-smartphone enabled models. Eventually your iPhone may be alerting other Cobra users, even those without phones, about the speed traps you see. "That's why the app is free," the Cobra rep joked.

iRadar is US$129, and both the detector unit and the dock come with the purchase. You may not have a need for speed, but if you do, Cobra's unit offers a nice integration with your iPhone.

Please note that radar detector use may not be legal in some jurisdictions. TUAW reminds all our readers to always avoid distractions, focus on the road and drive prudently and safely.

Be sure to check out the rest of our CES coverage on our CES page.

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