Do we really need a Bluetooth-connected tyre inflator? Ring thinks so and has launched its Smart Tyre Inflator that pairs with the Ring Connect app on your smartphone.
The tyre inflator is the first in a series of connected devices that Ring is launching, with a battery charger and dash camera following to market. Each device can be controlled via your phone, but will also integrate extra features to ensure your vehicle is kept safe is secure.
A ‘Smart’ Tyre Inflator?
At its most basic, the Smart Tyre Inflator is simply a tyre inflator much like any other, but with smartphone connectivity. We’ll get to that later, but first, you’ll be pleased to know that the inflator follows the design of many of Ring’s most recent products.
It’s a chunky disc-shaped device, cleverly hiding the power cable and inflator hose within its body. A pop-out handle allows for easy rewinding of the power cable too, ensuring there’s no tangles or knots. It all slots into a neat fabric protective case, making it easy to keep it tidy in your vehicle.
On top, there’s a digital display showing the tyre pressure when it’s connected to a car, and target pressure. Three buttons allow adjustment of the target pressure, and then you just hit the huge on/off switch to start the machine pumping your tyres to the right pressure.
It’s quite noisy as these things tend to be, but is quick and accurate, which is what’s important. An LED light on the side provides some illumination for topping up tyres in the dark, but that’s about the lot.
That’s right, it’s possible to connect the Smart Tyre Inflator to your smartphone, using the Ring Connect app.
Rather than simply being a case of connectivity for connectivities sake, there are some real benefits to this. For most, the ability to search for your vehicle in the app, confirm the tyre details that the system presents, and then store this information will prove helpful. This prevents the need to find exactly where on the vehicle the manufacturer has placed the tyre information, or where the manual has been placed should there be no sticker on the bodywork.
Helpfully, the app will store multiple vehicles. Before use, it’s just a case of then picking which vehicle you’ll be connecting to. Small fleets will definitely benefit from this, as well as multi-vehicle households.
To use, simply plug the inflator into the vehicle’s power supply, attach the hose to the tyre, and tap a button on your phone. The phone and inflator will then talk and your tyres will be inflated to the required pressure.
It’s not a game-changer, admittedly, and there are few benefits for single-vehicle owner-operators, but it’s not without merit.
Does It Work?
We tested the inflator on a few vehicles, from an old Saab to a Volkswagen Amarok V6, and measured the pressures with a traditional gauge afterwards. Each was spot on, so the accuracy of this test model seems perfect.
There’s a definite benefit to not having to find what pressure the tyres should be every time we go to check the pressures. Active reminders on the app alert you to the fact that you really should check the pressures reasonably frequently – certainly more frequently than many of us do – which has obvious safety benefits.
Ring Smart Tyre Inflator: Verdict
It’s difficult to get excited about a tyre inflator, and even more so when you approach it with the degree of cynicism that the Bluetooth logo and ‘App Controlled’ text on the box create.
However, the extra benefits the system offer, while not dramatic, do make life slightly easier. If you run multiple vehicles, the benefits compound, although the machine isn’t the right device for a large fleet.
Currently available from Amazon for £37.99, it’s not unduly expensive, costing just a few pounds more than a similar non-connected Ring inflator. It’s probably not worth rushing out and replacing any inflators you’ve already got but, should you not have one at all or you need to replace a failed device, this will do the job – and just a little bit more.
- What Happens When Your Electric Car Runs Out of Battery?
- First Drive: Peugeot 308 GT Plug-in Hybrid
- Driven: Genesis G70
- Driven: MG ZS EV Review
- DS 3 Crossback E-Tense vs Peugeot e-2008