Just a mere few hours ago, a motorcyclist decided to shut down a lane of a busy San Francisco thoroughfare, to attempt to turn my car into his personal punching bag.
While he failed, the event left me unsettled to say the least. One friend unforgivingly referred to it as “just another Friday in San Francisco traffic.” If that’s true, which I suspect it may be, I’m instituting a ban on all Friday afternoon meetings in the city… that’s not hard for me to implement.
But, I want more of a challenge. So, I started thinking, what would be the easiest deterrent to road rage? Obviously, a camera. Showing the road rager that their license plate, antics, and identity would/could be broadcast to the world is an easy deterrent.
Mounting a camera in your car is nothing new, but has too many barriers to entry for most people:
* They can be stolen, rendering your car with a smashed window and hundreds in repairs
* They have to be cared for, recharged, memory cards swapped, etc.
* Mounting them legally and safely is an issue
I want to start a dialogue on creating the Flip camera of dash cams, something that handles all of these problems. Here are the few target objectives I’ve seen in needing to create a good one:
* Camera must be mountable around the rear-view mirror, and not be wider/larger than the mirror itself
* Must mount to the windshield
* Cannot be removed easily – adhesive must take at least a few minutes to remove — thieves hate this and will pass on them
* Wide angle lens that can capture all in front of the windshield
* A blinking, powerful red led to note to outsiders the device is on/working/recording
* Easily-ejectable batteries and SD card slots – heat destroys batteries, this allows the device to stay mounted in cars that get hot
* Both micro-USB charging internally, and a charger for in-home use with the ejectable battery
* A retail price of no more than $99
I’ve spent an inordinate amount of time thinking about this exact idea.
My thoughts were more along the line of something that you mounted to the ceiling of the car and which has a 360 degree lens (ragers, accidents, etc. can come from any direction IMO). I was also thinking that it should have GPS & accelerometer data overlaid on the resulting video. I also want something that automatically records when the car is turned on so that I don’t have to power it on every time I get in the car.
This post got me thinking about how easy the 360 degree video is: http://hackaday.com/2010/01/04/360-degree-video-for-next-to-nothing/
I like this idea.