Pearl RearVision is a backup camera that fits around your license plate. Find out everything you need to know about Pearl RearVision today in our review.
What is Pearl RearVision?
RearVision is a rearview camera and parking sensors that fits around your existing license plate. You take off your current license plate frame, then attach RearVision overtop.
After RearVision is installed, you connect it to the Pearl app on your phone. Then, using your phone mounted on your dashboard, you can monitor the area behind your vehicle as you back up. You also get alerts when vehicles (or pedestrians) are approaching from the side. And, you can swivel the cameras to get a 180 degree view of the entire area behind your car.
Ultimately, RearVision wants to help you “backup with confidence”, explains Pearl on its website. It claims to be the only wireless backup camera and alert system of its kind.
It all comes in the form of a theft-resistant, easy-to-install, license plate frame with two small cameras inside. There’s no drilling, wires, or professional installation required. Since everything is controlled over the app, you don’t even need to connect the license plate frame to the front of your car in any way.
How Does RearVision Work?
RearVision had two HD cameras fitted onto the license plate frame, with one camera on each side. This gives you a super-wide view of what’s behind your vehicle – and also what’s approaching your vehicle from the side.
RearVision even has advanced image processing of high dynamic range scenes, which means you’re more easily able to see clear video in direct sunlight.
There’s also a Night Mode that provides extra clarity in low-light conditions.
Need to check your corners? Using the Pearl app, you can tap on different parts of the screen to get a clear view of what’s in that direction. You can quickly glance to your left and right before pulling out of a parking space, for example.
If you miss something on your scan, then you’ll hear beeps come through the app, alerting you to an incoming vehicle or pedestrian. Just like with most backup cameras, the tone various in intensity depending on how close you are to another object.
Everything is controlled through the Pearl app. You can dock your phone in portrait or landscape mode. Pearl even sells a Pearl Phone Mount to give you responsible, hands-free view control.
How to Setup RearVision
RearVision is designed to be usable even by those with no car skills or technical skills. The installation process takes minutes. Here’s how it works:
Step 1) Install the theft-resistant Camera Frame around your license plate
Step 2) Plug the Car Adapter into your OBD port (your on-board diagnostics port, found on all vehicles 1996 and newer; Pearl gives you instructions on how to find it but you can easily find information about your specific brand of vehicle by searching online)
Step 3) Mount your phone and start the Pearl app, turning it into your rearview screen
Up above, we’ve explained the basics of how RearVision works. However, the system is a lot more advanced than it seems at first glance. Here are the features included with your RearVision:
-2 Different HD Cameras: RearVision has two different HD cameras. One is sensitive to the infrared spectrum, helping you see well at night. The other is optimized for daylight.
-Seven Element Lens: Both cameras have a custom-designed, seven-element lens.
-180 Degree Field of View: Get a full scan of everything behind your vehicle to either side.
-Hydrophobic Coating: This coating will repel water droplets in rainy weather, and the plate frame is officially “weatherproof” (Pearl does not claim that the plate is waterproof; but if your car is underwater, you’ve probably got bigger problems than just backing up)
-Advanced Image Processor: Manages exposure and corrects distortion in real-time, giving you reliably clear, super-wide-angle views.
-Solar-Powered: RearVision will charge in direct sunlight and in indirect light (like when it’s hidden behind the clouds). This allows RearVision to be completely wireless. It also means you don’t need to drill into your car’s frame or splice to wiring for power. The RearVision frame has a built-in battery that acts as an energy reservoir (so you can collect charges for less-sunny times of the year).
-Intelligent Distance Sensing: RearVision runs “billions of calculations per second”, according to Pearl, analyzing images from both cameras during backup. When an obstacle is detected, a tone sounds from the built-in speaker in the car adapter. The Pearl app will also highlight that object on-screen.
-Wi-Fi and Bluetooth: The RearVision frame connects to your phone using Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
-Analyzes OBD Data: RearVision plugs into your car’s OBD port and receives data like vehicle speed, helping to manage when to show video in the app (the cameras won’t be turned on when you’re going 75mph on the freeway, for example)
RearVision Tech Specs
-Size and Dimensions: 12.3” x 6.3” x 0.93”
-Weight: 13.1 oz (372g)
-Material: Unibody aluminum frame
-HD Cameras: Dual HD cameras (one optimized for day, the other is IR-sensitive for night), 1/3” CMOS sensors, 2.2 micrometer pixel size, 7-element lenses with hydrophobic coating, f/2.0 aperture, up to 180 degrees field of view, ISP with software-controllable geometric dewarp.
-Chips and Processors: Cortex A5 processor, 3-axis accelerometer, solar energy harvester, hall effect sensor.
-Wireless Connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n – 2.4 and 5Ghz, Bluetooth 4.0
-Power: 2650 sqmm solar module with maximum power point tracking
-Battery: 2500mAh Lithium ion NMC battery
RearVision is made by a company named Pearl. Pearl was launched by the three co-founders. Those three met each other at Apple, where they played a part in developing products like the iPod and iPhone.
The three co-founders wanted to bring the same transformative change to the auto industry that they brought to the phone and music industries. They created a device that could place a backup camera onto all 1.2 billion vehicles on the road today.
You can contact the company by email at [email protected]. The co-founders include Bryson Gardner (co-founder and CEO), Joseph Fisher (co-founder and VP engineering), and Brian Sander (co-founder and COO).
Pearl RearVision is priced at $499.99 USD.
You can buy it from the official Pearl website or from Amazon (where it just recently launched). All purchases come with free shipping, the camera frame, car adapter, and phone mount, and a 3 year warranty with a 30 day money back guarantee.
RearVision is compatible with all cars 1996 and newer. You’ll need the Pearl App to use RearVision. The app is available on iPhone 5 or newer or iOS 9 or newer, and on any Android with Bluetooth 4.0 and 5GHz Wi-Fi support (Android 5.0 or newer).
At the time of writing, RearVision was only available to order for residents in the United States. International shipping is not currently available.
What Do Customers Have to Say About RearVision?
RearVision is generally well-reviewed online. Most tech blogs gave RearVision favorable ratings when it was first released.
Amazon reviewers haven’t been quite as kind to RearVision. However, only 40 reviews have been written so far. After those reviews, the RearVision has a rating of 3.3 stars out of 5, although there are more 5 star reviews than any other category. Here are some pros and cons we learned from the reviews:
-Works as described
-Well packaged and made from quality parts
-Excellent camera quality, including in low light and direct sunlight
-Installation is easy on standard cars
-Easy to use software
-Comes with a charged battery
-Bluetooth connection is easy
-Great if you want to add a backup camera to your car without actually buying a new car (there are other options, although they all require more technical installations)
-A very valuable investment if you live in a big city which demands parallel parking, or in a neighborhood with a lot of kids, anywhere with distractions, etc.
-You need to wait 3 to 5 seconds after launching the app for the video to load; unlike a conventional backup camera, the video feed doesn’t immediately when you start backing up
-Camera image can be blurry if there’s condensation
-In certain states, the frame can cover important parts of your license plate (like the state name on certain plates)
Should You Buy Pearl RearVision?
RearVision is a unique device that transforms any standard license plate into a high-tech backup camera, complete with infrared night-vision and HD day vision. It’s not just a boring old camera: it’s a high-tech device that analyzes your visual data through billions of algorithms to determine which nearby vehicles you need to be worried about, and which ones are too far away to matter.
Priced at $500, RearVision may be outside the budget of many vehicle owners. However, others will see it as a smart investment in their vehicle – and in their own personal safety.
Reviews for RearVision online are generally positive, with reviewers praising the video quality, the ease-of-use of the system (including the app), and the intuitive connectivity. Aside from some minor connectivity issues, most reviewers have good things to say about RearVision.
The Pearl RearVision is priced at $500 if you want to upgrade your vehicle with an easy-to-install HD backup camera today.