Uber’s latest creation isn’t a new delivery service or a new take on carpooling—it’s a hardware device.
On Thursday, the ride-hailing giant unveiled a small circular device, in the shape of Uber’s logo, meant to be attached to Uber driver windshields to help passengers more easily spot their ride on the street. The device, named Beacon, can light up and display a variety of colors thanks to eight LED lights inside it.
“Our team was focused on that slice of time between when you request an Uber, and you get picked up,” Uber product manager Nikhil Goel told Fortune about the company’s goal when designing the Beacon.
The Beacon is easy to set: just stick the small magnetized holder to the windshield from inside the car using the adhesive side, then attach the device to the holder. The Beacon is charged via a USB cable, outside the vehicle or while the driver is on the road. Uber says that the device should last for “thousands of charges” before it needs to be replaced. Drivers can seek help for their Beacons by contacting Uber online or stopping by the local center for Uber driver resources.
This isn’t Uber’s first such device. Last year, Uber quietly ran a pilot program in Seattle for a similar product called Spot. The Spot was a strip-shaped light that could glow in different colors. Like the Beacon, it displayed one of six color options to make it easier for the passenger to identify their Uber ride.
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SOURCE: Fortune, Kia Kokalitcheva