Wheel clamps — it’s hard to get excited about them.
They’ve been messing up people’s days since 1944, and haven’t seen a notable improvement since their conception. The bulky, yellow blocks of killjoy are among driver’s most hated objects, with the process of removing them taking hours upon hours – not to mention additional time having to go to the parking authority office. And with what car?
Luckily, now even wheel boots are ripe for innovation. A company designed a new way to make sure a car can’t be moved when there’s a fine to be paid, but simplifies a big part of the procedure of getting it back.
The Barnacle is a big, yellow window screen that’s applied to the windshield of a car with two large suction cups. The parking officer only needs to pump a dozen times to secure it to the car, immediately rendering it unusable.
When you want to get a normal wheel lock removed, it can take some time to get someone to remove it. The Barnacle works way easier — you just pay the fine through your phone and get a code that you enter on a keypad on the device. It then depressurizes the suction cups so you can bring it in your car and bring it to a designated hand-in point within 24 hours.
The product solves a lot of problems with traditional car boots: It can be deployed quickly, motorists can release the lock themselves and the car can still be towed with the Barnacle still secured to the window. Let’s hope local authorities agree that the decades-old wheel boot should be sent on its way out.