One of the great things about being Radar Roy is that you get to play with new toys before they are announced to the general public.
However, one of the bad things about being Radar Roy is that you have to spend hours and hours of creative thinking just so you can publish a new article or video about all these new toys.
I mean how often can you put a new spin on some new model wiz bang radar detector that really isn’t that much different from all the other models?
However with Escort’s newest launch Escort Live product, I didn’t have any problem with any of that creative thinking stuff because the engineers over at Escort had already done that for me.
I mean is that they took a concept that many of us have been dreaming about for years and made it into reality.
Plus Escort Live wasn’t some new wiz bang radar detector at all, but a simple interface that you connect to your Escort/Beltronics radar detector that connects you to a community of like minded drivers.
Several months ago when I was at the Escort Headquarters during my first introduction to Escort Live I was amazed at the simplicity of the design and interface.
Basically what the engineers introduced me to was an Escort Smart cord that had a Bluetooth interface that you plug into your (compatible) Escort or Beltronics radar detector, which then interfaces with your iPhone or Android.
Download their app, activate the Bluetooth, launch the application and you’re instantly connected to a worldwide community of other Escort/Beltronics users.
However there was one small problem during my introduction, this product was so new that there wasn’t any “real” Escort Live users on the network yet, just a bunch of Escort/Beltronics engineers (geeks) all of who were based in Cincinnati.
However I during my two day stay, I did get an opportunity to interact with them using Escort Live during my initial review.
As some of members of our radar detector community may know I’m a licensed general aviation pilot so on my first day I decided to take a drive out to Sporty’s Pilot Shop at Clermont County Airport, a 23 mile trip on I-275.
A few miles after crossing back into Ohio from Kentucky my Escort Live began alerting on my iPhone and Redline to a few spots that had already been marked as being “Speed Traps”.
Then coming down a hill I spotted two Ohio troopers that were shooting laser toward my direction.
I pressed a button on the Escort Live smart cord and made my first “Cop Spotted” notification.
A few seconds later my iPhone screen refreshed and my “Cop Spotted” alert had already been broadcast out to the Escort Live network.
A few minutes later I arrived at Sporty’s and my first reaction was “wow, what a small airport” as I had taken a number of Sporty’s DVD courses and for some reason had the impression that the Clermont County Airport was a much larger place then it actually was.
However, their pilot shop was extremely impressive!
I spent 30 minutes trying on headsets, looking over new manuals and ended up buying a new kneeboard for my iPad before I left.
I then headed back to Cincinnati taking the same road to check if my “Cop Spotted” alert I made earlier were still active.
As I approached within a few miles of my marked location I saw my “Cop Spotted” alert had changed from red to orange indicating that this was an older marked location.
I tapped on the icon and it showed that that location had been marked 42 minutes earlier.
I spent the remainder of the day testing out using the false alert tool that allows you to block known false alert locations, creating my own “cop spotted” alerts in the neighborhood of the Escort offices to keep the Escort geeks on their toes and to see some of the sights in and around Cincinnati.
A few days after arriving home my own cache of Escort Live units arrived which I passed out to friends and family so we could test them out within our own little community.
One of the first “Cop Spotted” alerts that were made was by my neighbor who marked an officer just around the corner from our homes.
I was a little perplexed when I first saw this “cop spotted” alert as I pulled out from my driveway as I literally live out in the middle of no-where in a private gated airpark community so it’s very uncommon to have any police in our neighborhood.
But sure enough, when I went around the corner there was an officer parked, so I marked the spot again to refresh the database to warn our community.
Over the course of the next several weeks we all shared information about radar/laser alerts, cop spotted alerts and speed traps that we all came across.
Then last week, Ron Gividen from Escort came out to our home/office to get our take on their product and to shoot a few videos.
The only negative thing that I could share with Ron was our network of users was so small as the Escort Live product had not yet been released yet to the general public.
However even our small community of users we were very successful in alerting each other of imminent speed traps.