A new company wants to provide car enthusiasts with a tool that allows them to shoot HD-quality videos without taking their hands off their wheel.
Boston-based Waylens, Inc. promises to “put the fun back in the driver’s seat’’ with a data-focused automatic camera system that connects to a vehicle’s computers with a wireless adapter. It is also offering a cloud-based software to store videos.
Waylens co-founder and chief marketing officer Michael Schmidt says his company’s product is designed for true car buffs who “already have a relationship with their car’’ and who invest money in after-market equipment.
“We knew wanted to build a camera the motor industry would find attractive,’’ said Schmidt in a phone interview. He also believes car buffs will find the Waylens camera stands apart from other car-focused systems because it draws data directly from a car’s operating system.
Waylens released a brief video comparing the video from its system to footage from a GoPro Hero 4.
“We wanted this to look like it could belong in the interior of a high-end luxury vehicle with beautiful design,’’ said Schmidt. “I think we’ve achieved that, but I’m biased.’’
Here’s how it works: Users can mount a Waylens camera to their car’s windshield using a suction cup mount. A device called an OBD-II connecter that is already paired with the camera through Bluetooth connects to the car’s computer port underneath the steering wheel. The OBD-II connector records car data, including speed and RPM, over the footage recorded by the mounted camera.
A remote that is also paired with the camera can be mounted on the steering wheel to help drivers make a note of specific highlights while they drive. The camera also acts as a Wi-Fi hotspot to transmit footage to a smartphone.
Waylens is also offering a mobile app, cloud software, and an editing system that allows users to store their footage, edit the highlights, and share their drives on social media. Schmidt says community-building is a key focus of Waylens’ technology.
“The mobile app will have a news feed where visitors can share their videos and cloud services where videos can be hosted,’’ he said.
Waylens launched a Kickstarter campaign on October 13 with the goal of raising $55,000. To date, the company’s campaign has raised over $335,000. Interested backers may buy packages starting at $299 that include a camera, OBD-II data connector, steering wheel remote, and a charging cable.
Schmidt said the Waylens app is not publicly available yet, only to consumers who purchase the equipment on Kickstarter.
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