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VCMS by i-Mentalist - Vehicle Counters and Monitoring System for the BlackBerry PlayBook

VCMS by i-Mentalist
By Michelle Haag on 6 Nov 2011 02:15 pm EST
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Anyone can make an application. No, really. I think anyone can make an application if given enough time and resources. But to make an app that is not only functional and useful, but also beautiful, now that takes talent. One of the best at doing just that is the team over at i-Mentalist. A few months back Hedone Design extended their development from BlackBerry themes into applications under the name i-Mentalist, bringing all of the talent and attention to detail to the new venture.

The latest release from i-Mentalist, and their first application for the BlackBerry PlayBook, is called VCMS - short for Vehicle Counters and Monitoring System. This app shows you information you may not have thought your PlayBook could bring you, and includes compass, odometer, altitude, latitude/longitude, and speedometer. Using the GPS built in to the PlayBook, you can easily see your current altitude (in feet or meters), speed (in kph, mph, or knots), and keep track of distance for dual trips (in km, ft, nmi). VCMS even shows you the current time and date.

You may think this is too much information to be crammed onto your screen, and there is no way that it could look nice, right? Wrong. The design is elegant and eye-catching whether in day or night mode, and even a little hypnotizing at times. The colors are perfectly coordinated and the dials and gauges are crafted to perfection. Whether you spend a lot of time in the car, on your bike, in a plane or on a boat, you will turn to this app again and again for information. You can have VCMS on your PlayBook for $2.99. You can check out a couple screenshots after the break and buy it at the link below.

More information/screenshots and purchase VCMS

VCMS by i-Mentalist

VCMS by i-Mentalist
Michelle Haag Michelle Haag "@_Miche11e_ and C0001B3B5" 1191 (articles) 1683 (forum posts)
46 comments

mbk_2k

great execution.

however i can't ever see myself using this app....the cars dials, meters and displays tell me 90% of the same information.

smertz

great app, can you find a way to pull the outside temp via the GPS functin?

hedone.hawker

we'll try to find the way! great idea by the way! but wont be possible to get it trough GPS.

elusivest

It looks really good. As far as I know in Ontario its illegal to have a screen accessible / visible to the driver except a GPS device so I guess this app cannot be used here.
The speed was also kind of scary, aren't you guys exposed by posting that on Youtube? Hope not

hedone.hawker

I'm sorry i can't tell you if it is illegal or not in Ontario, but we did check for EU and it can be used.
also you can use it in(on) many vehicles, not only in a car... ;)
oh and... i do hope we are not exposed by posting that on YT, but we wanted to show that there is no limit in speed meter, it can show any speed. it would be nice to see video by one of users using our app on the plane.

Spawn12336

As long as the device is mounted securely to the vehicle, it is perfectly legal, as long as it is not playing a video. Full motion video will indeed net you a ticket, but I doubt this would. All you have to do is find a way to fab up a mount for the playbook... which I already have ;)

kastortroy

the app graphics are really beautiful. I am definately gonna purchase it when i have the chance as I travel alot overseas. Is maybe a huge task but is there a way to use the gps mode intergrate it into some kind of world map so when one is traveling, able to view your location anyway in the world map. Kind of like the same principle as the map on the plane, showing you where you are at all times while flying. Just a thought. Thanks

hedone.hawker

that's another fine idea that we are looking in to it already.

kastortroy

Outstanding :) I will even pay a premium for it if you guys can do it. From an addicted playbook user. Probably the first.

hedone.hawker

let us first see what we can do about it. ;)

Strider2112

I was picturing like a Map in the background with the same dials super-imposed in the foreground (so not to be used so much as a GPS direction-system but more of additional information) is that what you were thinking? I think that'd be cool (maybe with the possibility of changing the transparency of the overlay?).

hedone.hawker

We are not looking for graphical solution to do it yet. We first need to find the way to include this function without the need for internet connection. ;)

ayekon

Yea... Too bad they have a problem refunding customers that have a Blackberry Style and their Playbook Theme doesn't work...

Good for them...

Hope it works for everyone... If not, screw your refund...

Even though it says supported for your device, this is a company that should have a "trial period"...

Style + Playbook 64gb

hedone.hawker

Dear ayekon! You can always turn to a store where you've bought your theme for a refund. please do that! they will gladly refund your money if theme doesn't work for some reason . Also you can turn to HedoneDesign customer support. but you need to know that there is no way developer can refund you on App World (in case you've bought your theme on it)
If you are talking about GoPlay theme by HedoneDesign - it is supported on 9760 device and it does work on it.

ayekon

If by "working" you mean "installs" and "can be activated" then yes, by all means, it works...
However, the cursor gets stuck in the corner after a couple seconds... It has no functionality...
I went through the "customer service" and got jacked around...

Style + Playbook 64gb

swimmer160

I think this is absolutely fantastic, and I will definitely be picking this up. I do a lot of racing (autocross mainly) and think this could be a very valuable tool as far as suspension tuning goes. How feasible would it be to use the accelerometer in the PlayBook to measure g-forces? If this had a g-meter in it this would be fantastic!

kastortroy

Great suggestion, would love to try it out while skydiving. Now I gotta figure out how to hold the playbook while trying to pull my rip cord.

hedone.hawker

When you are not driving left and right meters will show you angle of your device. when you are driving, those two will show g-force, but we can't tell you exactly what force it is. Please check the video and you'll see how they work. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dlbYI62U5Pw

swimmer160

I see, I'm assuming the meter on the right shows g's under accel/braking. Is there any way to display the value of the g-forces being exerted? Or even give a range? What is the max lateral g's that this will read?

hedone.hawker

At this moment that is not possible since we don't have anything to compare with. :(

kastortroy

I just purchased your app after watching the youtube on it. I cant wait to try it out in my civc si. Just curious, couldnt see it but what kind of mount was the driver using as it seems a nice fit for the playbook. I got the 2011 civic si. Thanks for any suggestions.

kastortroy

Outstanding. Thanks again. Just bookmarked your site as well and waiting patiently for more innovative software from you guys, for my 9900 as well. ;)

HofstraJet

In the USA, Brodit devices are sold by ProClip: www.proclipusa.com

Best device holders on the market. A little expensive, but well worth it.

Strider2112

I love the look of this app, I'll probably check it out on my Dodge Charger.

Does the compass still work even if the back of the device is not facing forward? (IE, my PlayBook mount for my car sits near the centre console and points up and to the left)

Another interesting idea is a 0-60 (0-98 km/h) timer to show your rate of acceleration (not sure if the resolution of the device is capable of that or not, I don't know enough about the PlayBook's schemology).

I'm assuming that video was done in a rented chrysler 300, not your personal one? ;)

hedone.hawker

Compass will still show you the correct information even if your PB is not facing forward.

idea about 0-60 mph is great, but its not possible since we depend on good gps signal.

oh and it's not rented... ;)

blackmoe

Just bought it and so far used it to clock me running from one end of my condo to the other :-)

Will be doing a blast down Airport Rd from Collingwood to Toronto tonight and give it a work out.

hedone.hawker

please do a video of it and send it to us. ;)

JasunX

Is it just mine or is the compass a tad bit, if not quite a bit dodgy? Doesn't point North for me :(

hedone.hawker

compass always show your direction. if GPS signal is a bit week than it might jump a bit since that is information that internal GPS device is providing.

trevlan006

well this damn post cost me almost $200 bucks...
i'm buying the app and for the app to work in my car I just bought off proclip cause someone above had to post a link..

haha thx guys.

cougar14

There's a cheaper, albeit slightly less functional app that I've been using here:

http://appworld.blackberry.com/webstore/content/36150?lang=en

Cool thing about this app is it has a setting to work as a head-up display (the graphics get reflected onto your windscreen) which is cool at night time!

hedone.hawker

Slightly less functional? it is showing speed and simple compass... or am i missing something?

hedone.hawker

There' been a lot of questions about mounting your PB. Let me help you a bit...

Please check this links for car kits (holders):
- http://shop.crackberry.com/blackberry-playbook-car-kits-and-mounts.htm?u...
- http://www.brodit.com/findDistributor.html?pn=handle&sm=fd

guerllamo7

Awesome! Just curious though, after reading your weblink it seems I don't need to use my BlackBerry Bridge or any internet connection. Is that right?

I could just take my Playbook and take it to the mountain and know my altitude without anything else???

I never travel without my BlackBerry and a spare battery but I'm just trying to get this straight.
Thanks.

hedone.hawker

the only thing you need is GPS signal! No wifi or bridge connection is required for this application to work.

mrbquick

Can someone post a video of the playbook being mounted in a car. I am not understanding with the video where to hang it at or how to mount it on my Toyota Camry Solara. I nice video would be more helpful

hedone.hawker

the only available video at this moment is here -> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dlbYI62U5Pw

but you can check brodit.com to see how holders are mounted in vehicle and how PB fits them.

HofstraJet

Here's the US page:

http://www.proclipusa.com/?sectionpath=6/104&pageid=15894&processor=content

The How to Install PDF shows good pix as well.

The way the ProClip mounting system works is as follows:

1) Purchase the appropriate vehicle-specific mount, which is customized to fit your vehicle and has a universal mounting plate.

2) Purchase the device-specific holder for your device, such as a PlayBook or Blackberry. This will mount to the universal mounting plate on the vehicle-mount. Thus, you can install the PlayBook anywhere you can mount the vehicle mount. Each vehicle generally has a few options. Surf the www.proclipusa.com website to see what is available.

Disclaimer: I have no affiliation with ProClip - just a very satisfied user of their products.

hedone.hawker

as am I. they really are great! and thank you for providing this information!!!

a4guy

can it be set up to display two decimal places in the odometer fields?

is it possible to display the odometers in larger font or to replace speedometer with odometers? I am mucm more interested in the odometer readings than speedometer?

another cool addition would be to add a resettable average speed indicator.