Smart phone, smart home… what’s next? Well, smart dash cameras are the latest device to hit the market this past year. Like any other smart device, a smart dash cam gives you peace of mind when you’re out driving. But as we all know, similar to other smart device markets, there are always numerous companies that sell not just one, but two or three models. We’re here to help you navigate this new and up-coming industry.
What are smart dash cameras?
Without over-explaining, a smart dash camera is a device mounted on your car’s windshield to record the front and rear view of your car simultaneously. Most smart dashcams have the ability to awaken and begin recording if your car was broken into or moved. Typically, a dash cam contains an internal memory card to store footage recorded - overwriting old footage as new footage is recorded. Most smart dash cams record at Full HD (1080p) but some even offer 1440p and night vision. The price range for a dash cam varies as it depends on the number and quality of the features included. Models with a few features are sold within the $100 range while high video quality capture with multiple features are sold between $250-350.
Why do I need another smart device?
Yes, a smart dash cam is just another device. But like many other ‘smart’ devices, it has been proven beneficial to drivers. Accidents are very common in the United States - according to Driver Knowledge, 6 million car accidents occur every year on average. In the event of an accident, dash cam footage can provide proof of ‘what actually happened’ at the scene, saving you from liabilities that you’re not responsible for. Not only can a dash cam protect you, but it is commonly used to protect your vehicle against theft and common damages when parked. On a lighter note, a smart dash cam can capture unexpected sights on the road or your latest karaoke car jam.
What features should I look for in a smart dash cam?
With so many different features, we broke down the essential features to the special features that you should look out for. The obvious basic features of a dash camera should include video storage, video recording loop, emergency recording and wide angle lens. Since these are the basic features, majority of dash cam models will not vary too much in these features.
So what makes a dash cam ‘smart’?
As Siri and Alexa continue to dominate voice control, voice control has been added as a ‘smart’ feature to control in-car media, navigation and place calls.
Have you ever found a dent on your parked car while you were away and wished you saved a recording of the incident? By enabling the intelligent parking feature for a parked car, everything except the G-sensor will shut off. So if a not-so-great driver accidentally bumps into your car when parking, the collision detection on the G-sensor activates. It will tell your dash cam to automatically save the critical file in a protected folder, preventing it from being overwritten in the future. The saved footage can be sent to the police or your insurer later on.
4G LTE connectivity
While 5G coverage has been slowly easing into the mobile network, 4G LTE is still relatively new to smart dash cams. 4G LTE can work online continuously by linking to a smartphone or hotspot. Keep in mind that some companies will offer free 4G LTE service for a limited time and then charge a monthly subscription fee after that. It may also be useful to look for a cam that includes Wi-Fi and Bluetooth for easy file transfer to your smartphone.
Remote access to your car
With LTE, the cameras can alert you via your smartphone if your vehicle is broken into or moved. It can also send a live view of your car so that you can keep watch of your vehicle in real time.
Collision detection & alerts
Using internal sensor technology, some smart dash cam models can detect a major collision and activate its emergency protocol.
By using the front facing cameras, some dash cams are intelligent enough to alert you when you are closing too fast to the car in front of you or if you are drifting out of your lane.
Looking for more than a smart dash cam? Check out our smart car device, Raven. The device plugs directly into your car’s OBDII port and offers a completed connected solution. Features include live tracking, security alerts, dual cameras, vehicle diagnostics, navigation, Wi-Fi hotspot, driving history and much more!