The top news coming from SEMA 2021 might be the three-row Wrangler or the custom trucks, but you can’t overlook the value of the newest car audio and electronic products. We had the chance to view some amazing innovations during the SEMA show in November and want to share the details with you. From award-winners to up-and-coming technology, here are a few of the best electronics at SEMA 2021.
What is the 2021 Best New Products Award?
The Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) awards the top products with honors if the equipment is worthy of accolades. This special member organization helps promote aftermarket equipment that can be used to enhance the capability, functionality and connectivity of new vehicles.
What’s most important about this year’s SEMA show is the honors given in the mobile electronics category. As part of the show, we’ve gotten up-close and personal with new Sony car audio products, an enhanced GPS tracker and unique interior ambient lighting.
Let’s look closer at all three of these electronics at SEMA to see why they were deemed worthy of the top awards.
Sony XAV-AX9500ES – SEMA Best New Product Winner
While we’ve performed a complete Sony XAV-AX9500ES review, it’s clear that we need to take a harder look at this head unit. The first thing you notice is the large 10.1” touchscreen display. This beautiful design features no gaps and has an amazing resolution for complete clarity.
Here are just a few of the specs:
- 10.1″ HD anti-glare touchscreen
- 4-way adjustable mount
- Digital multimedia receiver
- Single-DIN design
- Built-in ESS digital-to-analog converter
- Compatible with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
After looking at these specs, it’s clear why this wins the top honors. The versatility alone of the Sony head unit helps it stand out in the competition. With most modern vehicles, the head unit slot is a single-DIN. This design makes it more difficult to replace the factory unit with one that has a screen. However, Sony made sure that the new XAV-9500ES could fit in almost any car with this smaller slot. It just comes down to wiring everything correctly.
Now, you might be wondering what happens with the control buttons and HVAC system. The designers at Sony had thought of this too when it made the swivel display that can be moved out of the way of other objects.
The good news is that you can buy the new Sony head unit right now. On the other hand, it will cost you nearly $1,300, so it won’t appeal to anyone trying to upgrade the car stereo on a budget.
Cube GPS Tracker – SEMA Runner-Up
The Cube Tracker might be a small piece of equipment, but it could revolutionize the way you track your car. Of course, it’s not just a GPS tracking system for the car, but for anything you can attach it to. Place it on your wallet, keychain, clothing or part of the car.
What makes this different from other trackers, like the Apple Airtag, is the connectivity. You can pair it with your Android or Apple device with the help of Bluetooth. There are also several different styles to choose from.
Originally, the Cube model was attached to a backpack or keyring and featured a 100-foot range. While that model is still available, the technology has come so far. The next design was the Cube Pro, with a metal construction and 200-foot range.
With the Cube GPS, you get a larger device that has loops on both sides. It’s commonly used on a backpack or dog collar for better tracking. Finally, there’s a Cube Shadow that’s designed for stealth operations. It’s so thin and small, it can be put anywhere that the adhesive backing can stick to.
You can get a Cube Tracker for less than $25 if you want the smaller unit. Even the Cube Shadow costs less than $40 to buy. However, the company does charge a $20 monthly fee or $16.50 a month if you pay by the year.
VAIS Technology Interior Ambient Lighting – SEMA Runner Up
VAIS Technology highlighted two products at SEMA this year, but all eyes were on the Fiber Optics Interior Ambient Lighting Kit. This aftermarket accessory is designed to work in any vehicle and it adds six light sources anywhere in the cabin. The brightness and color are then adjusted with your smartphone app, making it easy to change the mood in the cabin at any time.
With complete customizable features, this low-cost kit is sure to be a hit. You can select various options for the Front Lighting Color, including purple, red, green, orange, yellow, blue and more. Plus, it’s easy to adjust Zone Brightness levels to any degree.
This innovative product is going to start shipping during the first quarter of 2022. However, the company is taking pre-orders right now for $199.99.
VAIS Technology also revealed the Smart Access System (SEER) with Push to Start. This advanced system incorporates all of the advantages of SEER, including audible alerts, walk-away lock, proximity keyless entry and illuminated entry. The difference is that it also incorporates a button for push to start. Buyers even have the option between two different buttons. One is the OEM-style plastic button and the other is made from metal.
This system can be added to any car model not featuring the steering lock system. As with the other system, this one will also be available early in 2022, but it costs $799.99.
Future Electronics at SEMA
Technology continues to evolve and grow each day and we can’t wait to see what the future holds. It won’t be long before the SEMA shows are filled with speakerless immersive systems, such as the one made from Continental and Sennheiser. We also plan on seeing more AI taking over the electronics field, with responsive programs just around the corner.