Brandmotion Insider

  • What is Qi?

    What is Qi? You may have heard the term used in conversation before, but in recent years, it has taken on a new meaning. When you’ve heard the term, yoga may come to mind, but what about your phone? The 21st Century Qi (pronounced “chee”) is becoming the new standard for charging your phone…wirelessly.

    cell-phone-chargers copy

    The ubiquity of cell phones has brought with them a mess of tangled cords and a plethora of different chargers. Cellphone and electronics manufacturers have sought to rid your counter tops, nightstands, and now - your car - from the mass of cables you steadily build up with each new device you purchase.


    A group of Qi adopters, The Wireless Power Consortium, consists of 188 member companies. This group is making major strides towards firmly embedding its wireless charging standard. Four major automakers; Ford, Chrysler, General Motors and Toyota have adopted Qi as their standard for wireless charging in their upcoming vehicles, and others are expected to follow.

    You may be asking yourself, “How does it even work?” In order to charge a device, there needs to be an imbedded magnetic coil in the device that can be placed on top of a charging pad with a similar coil. This pairing transmits electricity a short distance from one device to another. Newer Android based phones are already being shipped with the technology built-in. However, Apple devices still need a sleeve to support this feature. The cases might not be such a bad thing since most phone owners have cases on their phones in the first place; stylish and low profile versions are already available in stores.

    The technology is already on the market and more devices are being built with the feature each day, it’s up to the consumer to adopt it.

    If you could cut the cord and free your phone, would you?

  • Brandmotion Expands Direct-Connect Camera Line

    Four new models fit increased number of vehicles equipped with display radios

    SOUTHFIELD, MICH., June 5, 2014 (SDG MEDIAWIRE) – Brandmotion, the Southfield, Mich.-based developer and supplier of integrated safety and personalization solutions for the automotive aftermarket, announced it has significantly expanded its line of direct-connect rear vision cameras for vehicle-specific applications. The product additions enable Brandmotion resellers to leverage the higher number of vehicles that come with display radios from the factory but that are not equipped with rear vision.

    As part of the expansion, Brandmotion introduced four new models and upgraded an existing top seller. Each of the kits comes equipped with an Authentic OEM™ camera that fits the recommended factory position at the rear of the vehicle. Vehicle-specific wiring harnesses with factory-match connectors pair the camera with the factory display radio.

    “In our research, we see the trend of carmakers moving toward larger display radios in order to offer consumers more features down the road,” said Jeff Varick, president of Brandmotion. “We can thank the smartphone and the industry’s desire to make their use in the vehicle safer by building their functionality into larger, touch screen car radios. At the same time, we can leverage the larger screen to create a safer driver experience when maneuvering the vehicle in and out of parking spaces and tight spots.”

    New to the line are part No. 9002-8538, which fits select 2013-2014 General Motors vehicles, and part No. 9002-8536, designed for Subaru vehicles in the same year span. Part No. 9002-8532 has been upgraded to work with the new Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango equipped with a 52-pin factory connector and either 8.4-inch or 5-inch display, extending its application from 2008 to 2014 on select Chrysler vehicles.

    Part No. 9002-8535, another line addition, is the company’s first application to work with 2013-2014 Mazda vehicles, and part No. 9002-8534, designed for select 2014-2015 Toyota vehicles equipped with a 24-pin factory connector, is a highly sought-after consumer solution.

    The new kits join the recently released part No. 1009-6503 (2013-2014 Ram equipped with 5-inch or 8.4-inch display), as well as parts No. 9002-8537 (2012-2013 Honda Civic), 9002-8531 (select 2011-2014 Chrysler vehicles) and 9002-8530 (2012-2014 Toyota vehicles). In addition to the time-saving and reliability enhancing aspects of the installation, four of the kits require no additional programming from the dealership to initiate them with the display radio.

    Brandmotion will continue to expand the line as more vehicles become equipped with factory display radios. For more information, contact Brandmotion at (734) 619-1250, visit or follow Brandmotion on Facebook at

  • 3D Printing and What It Means For the Automotive Industry

    In recent years, the 3D printing industry has seen explosive growth. It seems like there are new companies popping up everyday with their own version of the printers. Three-dimensional printers are part of an ever-expanding manufacturing industry, and with each passing year, their print times shorten and the amount of printable materials increases. Automotive companies like Ford have already invested in this technology to make prototypes, and even NASA is adopting this new tech.

    These printers work by depositing a thin layer of a selected material on top of a previous layer, gradually building up the object. The ability to literally print parts from scratch will give companies and hobbyists alike, a number of advantages.

    Check out the clip of a turbocharger housing being printed at the 2014 SEMA Summit.

    Set-up Shop Anywhere
    Traditional manufacturing processes can take weeks or even months to deliver new parts, not to mention, they require huge facilities. If you’re not looking to get into manufacturing, you can still print items from the comfort of your own workshop in a variety of materials, NASA even created a food printer for the International Space Station.

    A Do-It-Yourselfer’s Dream
    With 3D printers, production possibilities are endless. The printers are able to produce any object without having to create a mold. This means, hobbyists and do-it-yourselfers can produce one-of-a-kind trim pieces for their vehicle or home.

    Research, Develop, Print
    Early test methods involved having a small number of parts produced to test. However, when a part didn’t perform quite like the engineers had believed it would, production and testing would come to a standstill. Companies now have the ability to print a part, test it, and make any necessary changes before sending it to production. Ford has been aggressively adopting 3D printers to reduce costs and part development. They have managed to cut development times by 25% and can now send sand molds directly to a foundry instead of making a second casting.

    Hard To Find Parts
    As years pass, the availability of parts for older car models becomes more and more scarce. Utilizing a 3D printer, part manufacturers or even hobbyists could make a replacement for that hard to find piece. You might also expect to see more one-of-a-kind vehicles and modifications on the road in the near future.

    Going Green
    There has been a majorpush for the green movement in recent years. Unfortunately, in manufacturing, waste is always an issue. Three-dimensional printers offer a solution to this age-old problem. Instead of producing large batches of parts, of which some may never be used, printers can make the exact number of parts that are needed. This will reduce unused inventory and wasted material.

    Three-dimensional printers stand to make a large impact not only within the automotive industry but many other aspects of daily life. We will see more and more products being printed in the very near future.

  • Brandmotion Unveils Its Showstoppers at the Hotrod and Restoration Show

    The president of Brandmotion, Jeff Varick, was recently at the Hotrod and Restoration Show in Indianapolis, IN. He brought with him a full line of products that integrate nicely into any car, both old and new.

    If you've been looking for a way to bring your old school hotrod into new school territory, you'll want to take a look at our newest product, FreedomCharge. It was on display at the show, being demoed to attendees. The wireless charging station for your phone installs cleanly into your vehicle for a clutter-less and cordless way to charge your cellphone. Not to mention, it makes a pretty cool "check out what I just got" item for any gear head that loves to show off his or her vehicle.

    Also on display was the uniquely designed Infinity mirror with an integrated HomeLink module. This mirror was designed without a bezel and gives off that retro look with a 21st century twist. With the HomeLink hidden at the bottom of the device, you'll keep that clean looking appearance but still have the convenience of the original module.

    Want to see what was featured at the show? Check out Jeff and the Brandmotion product line in the video below.

    Hotrod and Restoration Show Video

  • Top 10 Most Surprising Vehicles Without a Back Up Camera

    A recent ruling by the National Highway Traffic Safety Association has mandated that all cars under 10,000 pounds, starting model year 2019 and later must come with backup camera technology. There’s a good chance that the car you drive has a rearview camera, or at very least, the option to have one installed. This day and age, cameras and LCD screens are a common sight in most cars, but believe it or not, there are some out there that do not offer the safety of a rear vision camera system. Take a look at this list of the top 10 most surprising vehicles without the option for rear vision cameras. If you own one of these vehicles, it may be time to think about getting one.

    1. Jeep Wrangler

    2014 jeep wrangler

    The Jeep Wrangler has seen an explosion in growth and popularity in recent years thanks to upgrades on the exterior and interior. It’s surprising that a car that has such low rear visibility, still does not offer a rear vision camera system option for any trim level.

    2. Jeep Patriot


    For a car that was listed as IIHS’s Top Safety Pick, you’d think it would have the latest in preventive safety features. The Patriot is a fun car to drive and was appropriately awarded one of Consumer Guide’s “10 coolest cars under $18,000,” yet it lacks some of the most current technology.

    3. Dodge Challenger

    2014 dodge challenger

    The Challenger has been one of the most well received cars in its class. In 2013, AutoPacifica named the Challenger its best-in-class sports car. True to most sports cars, the Challenger features a low profile, which doesn’t help with its rear visibility. These cars can be a challenge to maneuver in parking lots, sounds like something a back up camera could solve.

    4. Toyota Prius-C

    2014 prius c

    The Toyota Prius-C makes headlines as a vehicle featuring forward thinking. It was one of the first cars to incorporate a hybrid drive and solar panels to actively cool the interior. The small stature of the vehicle would make you think it has great visibility, but the sloping back creates a large blind spot for the driver, one that a camera could correct quite easily.

    5.The Entire Scion Lineup


    Own a Scion? If you do, chances are you’ve noticed that there is no option for a factory installed backup camera. This is odd, seeing as how the Scion line up is built around customizing almost all parts of the car to fit the driver’s unique identity, as well as their wants and needs.

    6. Mini Lineup

    2014 mini Lineup

    Aside from the Hardtop, no other models in the Mini Cooper lineup feature a backup camera option. These vehicles have great visibility from the front, but the smaller windows in the back can make backing out difficult. With all of the great interior features and styling you can get with your Mini, a backup system would integrate nicely within their entire vehicle lineup and provide a safety edge.

     7. Mazda 5


    Minivans are notorious for their lack of rear visibility, especially if you have a full load of cargo or passengers. Safety is a main concern, especially with vehicles transporting people. A rear vision camera would compliment such a long vehicle and make backing out much safer, as well as easier.

    8. Hyundai Accent


    Compact cars are a high value that offer great mileage for a good price. Sadly, the Accent does not offer a rear vision camera system as an option. Due to the small stature of this vehicle, anyone sitting in the backseat could potentially obstruct the driver’s view of what’s behind them, a situation in which a camera system would make sense.

    9. Volkswagen Golf


    Volkswagen vehicles are touted as efficient vehicles that get you from point A to point B and the rest of the alphabet thanks to their superior gas mileage. However, any successful journey starts with backing out of your driveway safely. Hatchbacks typically have blind spots in the rear where the roof supports are placed. A camera in the rear could save your vehicle, and most importantly, someone else’s safety.

    10. Dodge Avenger


    This stylish vehicle has multiple optional amenities such as leather bucket seats, color matched rims, large in-dash displays and navigation. However, you won’t find a backup camera listed under any of the package options. A popular vehicle deserves a popular safety feature.

  • Brandmotion Introduces Versatile Camera Kits for Ram Trucks

    Factory or aftermarket, the solution is the same with the Authentic OEM™ 1009-6503 and 1009-6504

    SOUTHFIELD, MICH. – April 14, 2014 (SDG MEDIAWIRE) – Brandmotion announced the immediate availability of two multipurpose cameras kit for the Ram. Part No. 1009-6503 covers 2013-2014 models, while 1009-6504 fits models from 2009 to 2012. Whether the vehicle is furnished with a factory installed 8.4-inch display radio, aftermarket multimedia system or add-on monitor, the new kits provide rear vision safety with the seamless look that only comes from an Authentic OEM™ product.

    Both kits features a replacement rear tailgate handle that incorporates a Panasonic camera, angled optimally to deliver a 150-degree view of the area behind the vehicle. The wiring harness is custom fit and includes matching connectors for a true plug-and-play installation. The kits also contain an adapter harness that enables them to connect to the composite (RCA-type) video input of an aftermarket radio, add-on monitor, or one of Brandmotion’s monitor-equipped replacement mirrors.

    “We’re excited to bring out these ‘one-box’ solutions,” said Jeff Varick, Brandmotion president. “Most of our kits are designed for one application or the other: factory or aftermarket integration. Where it makes sense, we plan to provide both applications in a single kit to enable our dealers to service more vehicles while carrying one less SKU.”

    The two new Ram kits join Brandmotion’s extensive line of Authentic OEM solutions for the truck, including Slimline Auto-Dimming mirror with rear vision display, Infinity Auto-Dimming mirror with HomeLink®, and the Curb-Alert PRO front parking sensor. More information on the kits can be found on Brandmotion’s website at and

    The Ram Camera Kits are now available with a suggested retail price of $324.95 for the 1009-6503 and $339.95 for the 1009-6504. Authorized dealers can access and download a sell sheet of the camera kit, as well as sales tools and information on many more Brandmotion products, by logging into the Brandmotion Dealer Central website at For more information, contact Brandmotion at (734) 619-1250, visit or follow Brandmotion on Facebook at

  • Land Rover invents the transparent SUV

    "Part of the Discovery Vision concept SUV the company will reveal at next week's New York auto show, the "transparent hood" combines cameras mounted under the vehicle with a heads-up display that runs the width of the windshield. The system allows a driver to see what's directly around the front wheels — something not that useful in everyday driving, but game-changing off-road, where climbing slowly around obstacles often requires a spotter." Read more

    Who knows what the Red Rock 4-Wheelers Jeep Safari will look like in the next decade.

  • Suppliers Say New Rearview Camera Mandate May Boost Aftermarket

    A recent ruling by the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA) requiring back-up cameras in all new vehicles by the 2019 model year is being welcomed by aftermarket companies who already produce these important safety devices. Read all about it here.

  • Brandmotion Ships 3 Rear Vision Kits for Jeep Wrangler

    Innovatively designed series is the first aftermarket solution

    SOUTHFIELD, MICH. – February 13, 2014 (SDG MEDIAWIRE) – Brandmotion, premier provider of Authentic OEM™ components for the aftermarket, has announced it is shipping three Rear View products for the Jeep Wrangler. The kits, which are currently only available in the aftermarket from Brandmotion, enable installation of a rear view camera on models from 1997 to 2014.

    “Rear vision on the Jeep Wrangler has been a sought-after solution for some time,” said Jeff Varick, president of Brandmotion. “It’s something our dealers and expediters have requested from us, and we are excited to provide not just one, but three solutions to the aftermarket.”

    The Authentic OEM(tm) camera is mounted high for superior viewing, and looks out through the the spare tire wheel.


    Brandmotion’s Rear Vision kits for the Jeep Wrangler all include an OEM-validated Panasonic camera that provides superior clarity and image width. The camera is affixed to a specially designed bracket that allows it to ‘peek’ through the spokes of the mounted spare tire.

    Part No. 9002-8826 (MSRP $699.95), which is intended for vehicles without a screen, includes an Authentic OEM replacement mirror with a built-in, 3.5-inch color monitor. The mirror features auto dimming capability.

    Part No. 9002-8827 (MSRP $649.95) is designed to interface directly with the factory radio / navigation display in the Jeep Wrangler. The kit comes with a special programmer that temporarily plugs into the vehicle’s OBD2 port (On-Board Diagnostics) and codes the display to work with the camera, eliminating the need to have the dealership involved in activation.

    Part No. 9002-8828 (MSRP $299.95) is designed to interface with an aftermarket screen-equipped radio or monitor. It includes a composite video connection that plugs directly into a monitor’s RCA input.

    Authorized dealers can access and download a sell sheet for the 3 kits, as well as sales tools and information on many more Brandmotion products, by logging into the Brandmotion Dealer Central website at For more information, contact Brandmotion at (734) 619-1250, visit or follow Brandmotion on Facebook at

  • Brandmotion Partners With Velocity Sales and Marketing

    Award-winning manufacturer’s representative to service dealers in Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana

    SOUTHFIELD, MICH. – January 31, 2014 – Brandmotion announced that it has engaged Velocity Sales and Marketing to act as its manufacturer’s representative. The firm will present Brandmotion products and provide support to specialist retailers and expediters in Illinois, Wisconsin and a portion of Indiana.

    Velocity is led by Mike Lewis, an industry veteran who worked in manufacturer representation since 1989. Lewis started Velocity in 2006, and with the partnership of Gary Roach, the firm has since grown to count Alpine Electronics, Helix, PHD and Lightning Audio among its prominent vendor partners. Velocity also won Representative of the Year honors in 2012 from Mobile Electronics magazine, and industry trade publication.

    “Mike has an outstanding reputation for integrity and product knowledge,” said Jeff Varick, president of Brandmotion. “His company’s vendor partners have benefitted from strong dealer relationships and his attention to detail. The Rep of the Year award was well-deserved, and we are confident that Velocity will strengthen the Brandmotion brand throughout the territory.”

    Velocity will carry Brandmotion’s entire product mix, including the expanded Rear Vision camera line for the newer Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra, an exclusive line for the Jeep Wrangler, and specialist products like Curb-Alert Pro spoiler protection, Freedom Charge custom wireless phone chargers and HomeLink embedded control systems.

    “I’m very excited to represent Brandmotion in our area and count the company among our vendor partners,” said Lewis. “Brandmotion is a premium brand that lets our dealers sell OEM quality parts. You can buy a $30 camera anywhere, but around here, this time of year, the salt all over the roads will tear them up. Nothing beats Authentic OEM quality.”

    Velocity Sales and Marketing can be reached at or (847) 847-4775. For more information on Brandmotion, call (734) 619-1250, visit or follow Brandmotion on Facebook at

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