There are multiple reasons why someone might want to share the footage captured by a dash cam video installed in their car. Maybe you were the witness to a freak accident at an intersection one afternoon and needed to make sure that this footage finds its way into the hands of the proper authorities. Maybe you were the victim of an accident yourself and needed to get that footage over to your insurance provider as quickly as possible.
But since the vast majority of all drives that you take will likely be incredibly boring in nature, do you REALLY want the ability to instantly share every second of your morning commute with anyone who has an active Internet connection?
A company called Owl certainly seems to think so, and they’re trying to prove it. They’ve just released a product called the Owl Car Cam, which is an LTE-connected dash camera that offers live streaming capabilities by way of dedicated iOS and Android mobile phone applications.
The Owl Car Cam: Breaking It Down
The most important thing to understand about the Owl Car Cam is that no, it’s not intended for people who seem to want to live stream every second of every day that they experience. Instead, the company is marketing it as something of a full security system for your vehicle – not only is it always on and always connected to the Internet, but it also uses sophisticated algorithms and state-of-the-art sound detection to identify both break-ins and accidents as they happen.
The system is actually two separate cameras – one that films the inside of your car at a resolution of 1440p and one that films the outside at 720p HD. If some type of incident is detected – using a break-in as just one example – users will get an immediate push notification to their phone to let them know that something is going on. The Owl camera will automatically save the ten seconds before and after an incident occurs for security purposes.
But the true benefit of the camera comes by way of the app itself. Users can instantly review the past 24 hours at a moment’s notice, and if anything happened that was flagged by the app, they can go straight to that moment with the tap of their finger.
If anything particularly notable happens, users can save the clip and share it on sites like Facebook, Twitter or even YouTube. In a lot of ways, the “clip saving” feature is designed to encourage this sharing experience – users can even employ the phrase “OK Presto” to instantly share and save a specific 20-second clip.
It’s notable that company representatives chose the phrase “Presto” because it’s not very common, meaning that you’re unlikely to accidentally share something that you didn’t want to.
The system itself will cost $349 when it launches later this year, but that price will include ten full months of the “Always On” LTE service. Once the dust has settled and the product has been available for a few months, that initial price will drop to just $299 – but keep in mind that you’ll also be paying $10 per month to actually use the service and make sure that Internet connection is permanent.
It’s also notable that the company seems to have no plans to actually charge for its cloud-based storage service, meaning that you don’t have to worry about also getting hit with additional fees just because you’ve recorded or saved too much.
Whether or not these are features that people will actually want remains to be seen. Being able to view historical footage, export clips and even check in on a live feed of your car is certainly nothing new – competing devices have been doing it for years. It’s just that few devices have made these features a centerpiece like the Owl Cam does. Time will tell whether this is the beginning of a revolution in terms of dash cam technology or if it’s just another trend that will soon be forgotten.