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This Is The Future

Each week, we spotlight a cool innovation recommended by some of the industry's top tech writers. This week's pick is a digital license plate.

License plates have remained "virtually unchanged vestiges from the dawn of the automobile," said Eric Taub at >The New York Times. No longer. The California company Reviver Auto is swapping out "old-fashioned stamped plates for digital screens." The plates, which are connected to a cellular network, have a screen that "can display anything," including vanity plates or a warning if a car is stolen. Businesses can also display ads on the plates when a car is parked, "even targeting a vehicle's particular location because the plate is connected to GPS."

(Courtesy image)

The 2-pound unit uses electronic ink technology similar to that of eBook readers like Amazon's Kindle, but the dust-and-water–sealed screens used in the license plates can withstand wind and rain. Reviver has now begun a pilot program in California, though the first plates come with a hefty price of $699, plus an annual fee.

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