Apr. 22 - A Polish company has developed a wireless device which can reduce a car's fuel consumption while boosting its power output at the same time. Called a Power Box, the device connects to the battery, allowing the driver to adjust their vehicle's factory engine settings with a smartphone app. Jim Drury reports.
This simple looking device could become the next 'must have' item for car enthusiasts. When plugged into a car battery, the Power Box can reduce fuel consumption and increase engine power by 20 percent, say its designers at Polish company V-Tech. The world's first car power booster controlled by smartphone, V-Tech MD Marcin Szychowski says it's simple to use. SOUNDBITE (Polish) V-TECH MANAGING DIRECTOR, MARCIN SZYCHOWSKI, SAYING: "After plugging in the box we install the plugs in the engine compartment, giving us the possibility of modifying the fuel pressure, injection time, and operating range of the turbine. These are the main factors which allow an increase of the car's power." It's the first device to allow drivers to personalise their engine control unit. Usually drivers must visit electronics experts to overwrite the factory settings - a process called 'chipping'. Able to reduce fuel consumption by up to 12 percent, the Power Box can be controlled via Android and iPhone apps. SOUNDBITE (Polish) V-TECH MANAGING DIRECTOR, MARCIN SZYCHOWSKI, SAYING: "When it comes to the Android platform, the box connects over Bluetooth, when it comes to the iPhone, it connects over Wi-Fi. Each box has a personalised password. After typing it in, connecting, and finding the box either through Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, it works." The device costs 600 dollars, but this allows buyers to repeatedly re-customise their engine, according to the requirements of each journey. And because no mechanical interference with the engine is necessary, - unlike chipping - the car warranty always remains valid. V-Tech hope to add anti-car theft software and a program to detect mechanical defects. In the meantime, the company is adapting the Power Box for use in as many different vehicle models as possible, driving a new market for personalised motoring.