True fact — I failed my driving test five times. But if Gibson Hu's Reverse Parking Assist existed 10 years ago, in 2002, I might have been saved some serious time, money and mental anguish.
Kinect hacks are approaching ubiquity, but Gibson Hu's is a practical one. The technological equivalent of sending your friend out to guide you into a tight parking spot, the Reverse Parking Assist (as you'd expect from its monicker) is designed to help you reverse park.
"Well, I'm an engineering student. This was just something I wanted to do to keep me busy over the holidays," says Gibson.
Gibson Hu is a postgraduate research student at the University of Technology in Sydney.
"It just seemed like a really cool idea for a hack — like something practical that people could use."
We asked Gibson — how is his reverse parking? Did the device spring from any specific need on his part? Does he need a Reverse Parking Assist?
"No, my reverse parking is actually fine," he says.
Despite this — the first and only Reverse Parking Assist is currently still connected to Gibson's car. But he freely admits that he doesn't use it that much.
"The thing is actually still attached to my car now. But my car is really old, so I don't really need to worry about my parking that much," he laughs.
We ask him — is he saving the device for a more expensive car in the future?
"Yeah, something like that!"
Gibson is currently working on system that will allow the Reverse Parking Assist to display information on Android devices.