Like a rite of passage between the hours of 6am and 9am, and again between 5pm and 7pm, each and everyone one of us do it in some way. We get up, get out, and head to our cars, preparing to do battle with traffic, tucking our heads down just to get through it and get to and from the office five days a week. While 99% of the daily commute is a grind, we’ve scoured the web to discover some unique gadgets to help make your miles logged that much better.
First, and foremost, let’s talk about coffee. Your options on the commute often consist of scrambling to make your hot cup-o-joe before you head to the car, or stopping along the way to wait in line and pick up an often burnt-tasting, never-enough-caffeine, paper cup of dirty dish water. Neither one sounds super appetizing—plus you can often spend $4 to $6 per cup depending on your caffeine needs. Meet the Handpresso—a mobile espresso maker that garners rave reviews from across the web and allows you to make espresso in your car. Yes, you read that right—coffee, that’s actually rather decent, made by you—in your car. The operation is relatively simple according to Digital Trends, but it can be a bit messy. You can either use coffee pods or grind your own brew and have at it. Just be sure to get it going before you set off in traffic—remember coffee is hot.
While coffee makes you more alert, there might be some work to do on the whole stress relief aspect of commuting. Enter aromatherapy. We aren’t talking about the cardboard tree hanging from the rearview mirror, either. There are a few companies on the market who make diffusers that either plug into your cigarette lighter port or simply use a cotton wick to disperse the essential oil of your choice around the cabin of the car. One we like in particular is by Aura Cacia. You don’t have to take up valuable charger space and you can control how strong the scent is based on how heavily you soak the cotton wick. If you want a humidifier and scent dispersal system check out the Nanum diffuser, here.
Next let’s talk about tunes. By now there are a ton of options on the market—but some of the best ones integrate the tech that you already have into your car, seamlessly. One clever execution of this is the Satechi Apple Watch Grip mount. Placing it on your steering wheel will give you easy access to maps, music, messages and more and you wont have to fumble around with it on your wrist. There’s also the Audiovox XM Snap Radio for those times when you want to upgrade your new-to-you-car with SiriusXM radio content.
No list would be complete if we didn’t discuss in-car chargers. There are a few on the market that do much more than power up your various devices, however. First meet the ZUS Smart Dual USB Car Charger & Locator. This device plugs into your cigarette lighter and offers up two USB ports to charge two devices at once—and it charges them quickly—up to two times faster than a normal car charger. Additionally, when you download the app, you can use it to find your parked car.
Another charger with dual purposes that we like is the Juno Jumper backup battery and car jumper. It’s got enough power (when fully charged) to jump-start your car should your battery fail you, but it also serves as a backup power source for your computing devices. It can even tell you if you have the cables attached to the wrong terminals (for those of us who aren’t all that car-savvy). It’s as small as an iPhone, though a bit heavier, and recharges via micro USB cable or a 12V cigarette lighter port.
So the next time you hop into your car to start that Monday morning commute, just remember it doesn’t have to be all drudgery all the time. These tech items can help make it just a bit better and help speed you safely on your way. Check back with Instamotor regularly, for all the used car news you can use.
Digital media content producer/consultant & former CNN senior producer, now running CN'TRL : Cars, Tech, Real Estate & Luxury.