CarrGenie wireless Carplay & Android Auto adapter

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7 min read

Kickstarter:

Your car’s factory infotainment system deserves an upgrade. CarrGenie is a powerful Android device that converts wired Apple CarPlay & Android Auto to Wireless. It allows mirroring of the complete Android system to the car screen. By simply plugging in the USB cable, CarrGenie can convert your car`s OEM infotainment screen to an Android 11 system.

Using Bluetooth, connect to your phone to enjoy CarPlay & Android Auto wirelessly. No more cords and you don’t need to change the head unit. You can easily upgrade your car’s capabilities. Once enabled, you can harness the power of the Android 11 system to download apps like YouTube, Netflix, and all your favorites.

It took me a while to get past the confusion that CarrGenie created. You need to plug CarrGenie to your car’s infotainment system using a USB cable. Then they go on to claim that there will be no more cords with this set up.

How is this different from plugin your phone directly to the infotainment system via USB cable? Your phone should sit in the phone holder anyway.

I can’t wrap my head around what they are offering here. They are saying we should connect CarrGenie to the infotainment system, and then connect our phone to CarrGenie using Bluetooth. So the phone is free of cords. I get that. But using Bluetooth drains the phone battery so you need to charge the phone, and you plug your phone in to charge…

If only there’s a way to charge your phone while also connecting it to the car’s infotainment system, oh wait, we can just plug our phone directly to the infotainment system, duh.

Of course, if your car doesn’t support CarPlay or Android Auto, this might be an easy way to get it. My gripe is with how they see wireless being a feature and try to market it by claiming that there would be no cords. It makes it sound like they have not tested the product enough to understand real-world usage.

I’m not sure what they are smoking at CarrGenie but they think that the product makes the car safer:

No one wants to have to remember to bring another cord with them or have a messy car console strewn with cables. With CarrGenie, messy, tangled cords are a thing of the past. Your car looks cleaner and operates more safely.

How does bringing YouTube, Netflix or other video watching apps to a car infotainment screen make driving safer? If anything, it increases the likelihood of distracted driving and thus increasing the danger to the driver, other motorists, and pedestrians as well.

Most of us will have a charging cable for our phones in our cars. That double as a cable to connect to the infotainment system. Are they trying to create a false image that without CarrGenie our cars will be a mess of tangled cords?

Sharing is nice. So we designed the split screen function for sharing CarrGenie with your friend. Split your car screen into two separate standalone screens. Passengers can watch a video or play games while you are driving and running a navigation app without interference between the two sides.

Let’s face it. Older cars that lack CarPlay and Android Auto support generally comes with smaller screens that makes split screen pretty pointless. Cars with larger screens for this to make sense probably come with CarPlay and Android Auto.

Besides, it is rather irresponsible to claim that there would be no interference when using split screen mode. Having a screen with video going on is a magnet for eyes, especially during long, dull rides.

Meanwhile, CarrGenie keeps saying that safety is their top priority, yet the features and usage they highlight is anything but.

We believe we can make driving safer and more convenient for everyone. This is our No.1 priority!

Paying lip service is meaningless if they don’t show that they truly care about safety and have tested to the product thoroughly to avoid endangering the driver and passengers.

Background check

The CarrGenie Kickstarter campaign is created by Rengen Tang. it is a Chinese name but I’m not sure which is him or her in the team photo. There is also a video by co-founder Sasha Roberts who appears in their team photo.

It is a little confusing since they were saying they have a founder, but there’s also a co-founder?

Our team’s founder got the idea for CarrGenie from an ordinary driving experience. 

We were unable to find any trademark applied or registered under the CarrGenie brand. This is a red flag. A reliable Kickstarter creator should have at least applied for the trademark before launching the campaign. Let’s assume this is an oversight by an inexperienced team.

We were also unable to find any companies related to the brand. This is another major red flag that suggests this could be a scam campaign.

Scam or not

Failure to respond to concerns

After our research and going through the comments section, we are inclined to believe that this campaign is a scam. The creators have avoided providing more videos to prove that the product works, pointing commenters to the promo videos instead.

Instead of addressing concerns from backers in the comments, they are running a marketing campaign getting people to comment with their most unforgettable drive for some giveaway or discounts.

Basically a blatant attempt to bury legitimate concerns that they are unable and unwilling to answer. Big red flag.

Not verifiable

There are no trademark applications and they did not reveal the company behind this campaign.

Inconsistent copywriting voice

Their creator’s bio is written in an English style very different from the campaign copywriting. My bear gut says the campaign copy was created by a professional copywriter and the bio by someone else in Chinese English.

CarrGenie Team is a team of software engineers and in-vehicle product experts. Everyone on the team is experienced and full of passion.

The hard-to-use OEM operation system and infrequent wireless CarPlay are one of the most significant reasons to promote us to research a solution method. We are brought together by the same ambition. We did not fail our dreams. We successfully made it come true. Not only a Bluetooth adapter, but CarrGenie is also a new-gen wireless CarPlay adapter that can map an Android system on a car screen.

In this journey, we gain much and get over many difficulties. But finally, we are here to show our proud product. Thank you for your early support!

Dubious team presentation

Their Facebook page show that the it is managed by four people in China, one in the United States, and two others. This differs from the four supposedly Americans presented in their team photo.

Lack of proof the product works

It is already September. If they plan to deliver by December, they should already have photos of the prototypes and early production. So far, they have only shown a product that looks like a power bank. For all we know, they are probably using a power bank as a prop for their photos and videos.

Final verdict?

Stay away from this!

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/carrgenie-adapter/the-redefined-wireless-carplay-and-android-auto-adapter

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