Sunday, November 15, 2015

Idea: Smartphone dongle for police radar detection

Police radar detectors are still expensive - ranging up to $650 for good ones.  I was contemplating why good products in this area are not available for a lower price?

Possible Challenges:
1. Complex software running the blip detection (software DFS like?)
2. Front end for the user to interact with?
3. Learning mechanism and advanced features like crowd sourced information for improving performance.

Possible solution:
If we are able to address the challenges presented above, it might be possible to come up with a cheap solution to this problem. Running complex software (possibly open sourced) should become cheaper with the advancement of Moore's law. This could also leverage from a lot of open sourced machine learning tools available on the internet.  Depending on the expected pattern, all that would be needed is possibly the FFT[3] of the spectrum sample on which a DFS[2] like software can be run. This software could also be directly run on the phone since the processors on the latest smartphones are fairly powerful. If power is a problem, this could be offloaded to the dongle which could be powered by the cigerate charger in the car. 

The cost of having a shiny front end GUI is also eliminated because the same can be run on the smartphone. The phone could be used to control and tune the radar since it can operate on different bands based on muncipalities [1]. Besides this information of radar detection and the presence of police on certain roads could also be crowd sourced to achieve improved detection.

Cite this post:
G. Bhanage, Smartphone dongle for police radar detection,, 2015


Disclaimer: I am thinking out aloud about the possibility of addressing a current product problem with a possible product. There may be other hurdles that I may have failed to think about or outline. Please pursue ideas at your own risk.