So many awful things can happen to cars when we’re away from them. Someone might ding them in the parking lot, or, more maliciously, someone might break into them.
The new Owl Car Cam seeks to catch both offenders in the act and provide footage of the deed inside and outside of the car if you need it for the police, your insurance company or merely for a private confrontation.
On a lighter note, you can also simply use the 4-megapixel cameras to capture and share videos of cool stuff you see on the road, or use the inside cam to film everyone in the car jamming to David Bowie.
You can already find some of these inside-and-out features in other dashboard cameras, but Owl’s camera stands out for being constantly connected and the ease with which it can send footage to your iPhone. (And yes, iPhone, as Android support is still on the horizon.)
Thanks to that constant connectivity, Owl’s camera can automatically notify owners when their cars are damaged or being broken into and send relevant footage.
Or, get this: the Owl Car Cam will even send you a live feed of what’s going on in case of an emergency and allow you to speak to any intruders through the device’s intercom. Who knows? Maybe a sternly worded warning can work after all.
You can set it to always record the last 24 hours of activity if you wish, but by default it only sends you footage when it detects that something bad is happening to the car.
Since it’s also paired with your phone, it knows when an authorized person is approaching the vehicle, and it also prevents people besides the owner from deleting the recorded footage.
As of today, you get a year of LTE connectivity from AT&T and video hosting as part of the base $349 (around £245/AU$434) package on Owl’s site, but at some point in the next few months the price will drop to $299 (around £210/AU$372) and LTE connectivity will cost $10 per month.
At the moment, the device is only available in the US.
For specs, the camera has a 2.4-inch touchscreen LCD display and multiple sensors for detecting movement, along with two 4-megapixel, 120-degree cameras facing toward the front and back, respectively.
Your steering column will need to have an OBD port to power the device, but fortunately these have come standard in many vehicles since the late ’90s.
Owl itself is headed by CEO Andy Hodge, who worked on the iPod team at Apple when Steve Jobs was there, and the team is composed of multiple former engineers from both Apple and Microsoft.