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Have you ever rushed out of the office to feed your parking meter to find a friendly traffic cop writing you a sweet little love note? Wouldn't it have been nicer had the cop just called you to say, "Hey, just though you might want to throw a couple of quarters down my way." Sorry, not gonna happen.

But in Vancouver and Niagara Falls, some parking meters will do just that. Those two cities are trying out a new meter that will alert you via mobile phone that the little red flag is about to pop up. Then you can either sprint downstairs to buy more time with coins or credit card, or, from the comforts of your office chair, send an electronic payment.

But what happens if, for instance, your maxed-out MasterCard can't take even another 50 cents? These super helpful, solar-powered devices from Photo Violation Technologies Corp. will even allow parking violators to pay their fine right there at the meter.

See videos of the super meter at Photo Violation Tech's Web site. They're in WMV format, so good luck.

[Source: Kicking Tires]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      What's with the smug (stupid?) crack about WMV format videos? Are you upset that these videos only play natively on 80% or more of the world's desktop PCs?

        • 7 Years Ago
        As he should be, MPGs or MP4 play natively on 100% of the computers in the world? What's your point?
        WMVs wouldn' tb so bad if MSFT freely licensed its codec for othes to implement.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Thats a pretty nice looking Yellow M3 next to the meter.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I just think in some cities, they make money off issuing parking tickets.

        • 7 Years Ago
        Detroit. Parking Enforcement is the ONLY branch of city government bringing in income. Everything else is either break-even or losing money like a sieve.
      • 7 Years Ago
      That is a pretty nice looking parking meter i should have to say.
      • 7 Years Ago
      we've had issues w/ the wifi network going down, vandals trying to pry off the solar panel, elderly folks unable to see the LCD display and general grumpyness at the whole concept of consolidated parking meters.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Do you work for the manufacturer?

        Is there a single sentence on their web site that they haven't tried to add a trademark to???
      • 7 Years Ago
      If I worked in downtown Vancouver, I would rent at the many monthly parking places. No meters, just reserved parking.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Interesting that a poor post-communist European country can be so ahead of the US in such things. We pay for parking by sending our car plate number by SMS to a certain number displayed on signposts around every parking lot and the parking fee gets added to our mobile phone bill. 5 minutes before our time is up, we get a nice SMS reminding you to either pay for another hour (simply by replying to the message), or move our car.

      Parking service employees roam around parking lots with wifi-enabled portable computers with an integrated printer, check each car if its driver paid for parking. If they didn't, the machine prints out a ticket, and all the employee has to do is put it in a waterproof baggie and slap it under the windshield viper of the offending car.

      Are you telling me that such a simple and convenient system is not widely used in western countries?
      • 7 Years Ago
      In Vancouver, we've had ALL city parking meters already being able to take payment by cell phone for about a year. Great system when you don't have change or only large denominations (remember, we have $2 coins in Canada). Once registered through a website, paying is quick and easy, and you get a text message warning, once your payment get close to running out, with, of course, an option to buy more time. There is a small user fee attached to all of it, but I'd rather pay that plus for time I know I'll use, then pay for the next guys parking.