The Talelight Electronic Bumper Sticker

talelight electronic bumper stickerEver put a bumper sticker on your car?  I’m sure you have; people just love to express their opinions. Of course, opinions change, and bumper stickers get worn out and sometimes, it’s no longer trendy to have a “Bush/Cheney ’04” sticker on the back of your car.

But we’re often lazy, and those stickers have a tendency to hang around for a long time, because it’s a nuisance to remove them.  So they sit, and people see you at stoplights and make fun of your no-longer-relevant message.

That’s where the Talelight comes in handy.  The Talelight bills itself as the world’s first electronic bumper sticker.   It attaches to the back of your car with provided 3M adhesive tape and it’s powered by any 5 volt USB source.  There’s a 15 foot power cord and an adapter that will allow you to plug it into your car’s cigarette lighter or 12 volt power source.

The display measures 1280×320 and can store up to 25 static images.  For legal reasons, the Talelight will not display any images with motion, so you can’t use an animated gif or movie file.

You can create images using Photoshop or any graphics program, and you can upload them to the Talelight Website.  The company provides an app that you can use on a smartphone or tablet to manage your device.  You can create your own images or text, or you can download premade bumper stickers from the company Website.  These are available for purchase, though they’re typically just $2-$3.  You can also create your own virtual “bumper stickers” and put them up for sale on the site to make a few extra bucks here and there.

While many people might want to use this electronic bumper sticker to display a static message, you can program the Talelight to do far more than that.  You can have it rotate up to 25 images or you can schedule certain images to appear at certain times.  You could, for instance, have a different bumper sticker displayed for each day of the week.  Or you could set a calendar to display a special message on your birthday, for instance.

While the Talelight is a pretty clever device, there are a couple of minor drawbacks:

The device may not be legal everywhere.  Some jurisdictions (particularly California) have some pretty specific laws regarding what sorts of electronic or electrical “lighting” devices may appear on a vehicle.  The company freely admits that laws on this matter are somewhat vague, as there aren’t any other similar devices on the market…yet.

The Talelight isn’t particularly cheap.  It’s an electronic device and it’s one without any competition.  At this point, that means that it doesn’t have to be cheap; the company can sell it for whatever price the market will bear.  At the moment, that price is $129, plus shipping.

Not creative?  You’ll have to buy other people’s designs.  The Talelight Website has several hundred different bumper sticker designs for sale in their store.  Like I said, they’re cheap; the average price is about $2.50.  Still, some people bristle at the idea of paying for designs.

I’ve never really been the sort to put a bumper sticker on my car, but I know lots of people who do.  I also see lots of bumper stickers that are seriously outdated and the owners never got around to removing them.

If that’s you, or if you simply have so many opinions that putting a sticker on your car for every one of them would completely cover your car in bumper stickers, then you might find the Talelight to be a pretty good idea.

Here’s a video from the company Website:

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