I recalled a true story where my colleague “lost” his car in a HDB car park. To add to the panic, it was a new car. He kept walking around the vicinity and wondered how it could have been “stolen”. An hour (or less) later, he found it at another location of the same car park. He figured he might have not paid attention to where he parked his car when he left the car. And you know how confusing it might have been when parking at HDB estates, when each block looked the same as the other.
So, if you face the same problem as my colleague, the nonda ZUS Smart Car Charger might be your saviour. A winner of both the iF Design Award 2016 and Reddot Design Award 2016, it is a car charger with 2 USB ports that charges up to 2.4A per port (4.8A when used together), which is double the efficiency of normal USB chargers. In addition, it helps you locate your car by storing the GPS coordinates to your smartphone as you leave your car, with an option to trigger a parking timer – in case you wanted to beat the clock.
The design is really impressive for a generic product. The electrical connection parts are Titanium-coated in matt black, so stylish unlike most other car chargers. The USB ports are angled and lit up for efficient use of space and ease of access. My VW Jetta cigarette port is recessed, and the angled USB ports allows charging for my passenger and mine without the cables getting into the way. The product itself is certified to meet military standard to sustain beyond 100-degree Celcius, so it will work reliably in Singapore hot weather.
Setting up is straightforward. Install the smartphone app and plugging in the ZUS into a live 12V port in your car. Then start the app to connect a ZUS. And you’re done.
Whenever you stop the engine, ZUS will record the GPS coordinates and send to your smartphone. If your smartphone receives the information, then you will see the phone notification.
If it cannot record the coordinates, then the phone will request you to take a photo of your car, so that you can remember where you park.
The app also prompts you if you want to set a timer to remind you about your parking duration. When the time is nearing, the app will notify you unobtrusively, no loud alarms.
The ZUS claims it does not support multi-storey and underground parking lot, but I put it to the test anyhow. Indeed, it does not work that well since ZUS records the GPS coordinates without altitude. Hence, ZUS will not be able to help you find your vehicle if you get to the wrong floor.
But if you often park at open space like Singapore Expo or East Coast Park, it might be a good idea to get one. Or if you drive to Malaysia, get one, in case you lost your sense of direction and thought you had lost your car.
The ZUS has 2 USB charging ports supporting up to 2.4A for each port. It is built with intelligent charging to detect the optimal charging current for your device. Obviously, iOS devices get the best compatibility. My ASUS Zenfone Zoom only achieves 1A, which is still not too bad.
The ZUS is a very useful car charger which doubles as an intelligent vehicle finder. If you are looking for an efficient charger and is often absent-minded in parking location, then ZUS will be of great help. There are alternative ways to record your parking location, like using Google map, but only if you remember to do it every time you leave the car. The ZUS make it happen automatically, and reminds you to take a photo if GPS cannot be recorded, as well as setting countdown timer if you intend to beat the parking hour.
You can purchase ZUS from the official website for US$29.99 (usual US$49.99), which ships worldwide at US$15 flat fee.