When driving in the pouring rain, I usually stick to talk radio—or turn the car’s stereo off completely because my brain gets really unhappy when the rhythmic motion of the windshield wipers doesn’t match the beat of a song. I guess I’m not alone, though, because Ian Charnas, who I’m declaring the greatest inventor of all time, hacked his car’s wipers to sync to the music blasting inside.
Is it a simple hack? Not at all. Even condensed to a 15-minute video, the engineering, programming, and vehicle hacking needed to upgrade your car’s windshield wipers looks intimidating—not to mention all the risks you’d take when you start to dabble with under the hood modifications like this. You didn’t really need that warranty, did you?
Is it a practical hack? Unfortunately, that’s also a no. The reason you can dial in varying wiper blade speeds is so you can ensure they keep up with the amount of rain falling. You don’t want them violently slamming back and forth during a light drizzle, nor do you want them barely moving when driving through a monsoon. When synced to the music playing in your car, your windshield wipers are at the mercy of your playlist, which will probably rarely be appropriate for the inclement weather conditions outside.
If you’re not deterred about trying this hack on your own car, or maybe want to create an easy kit that anyone can use to build their own music-synced windshield wipers, Charnas has put the intellectual property rights up for auction on eBay until October 26, at which point he’ll the transfer the ownership of his provisional patent application (#62907689) to the winning bidder. The proceeds of the auction will be donated to non-profit educational institutions that support young makers.