At CES this week, GPS giant Garmin has added a new HD camera to its growing line. The Dash Cam mounts to any car's windshield, taking footage of the drive and acting as a data recorder in the event of a collision or other incident.
The Dash Cam is the latest in Garmin's line of aftermarket auto electronics and an addition to its stable of POV cameras. After suctioning to the vehicle's windshield and plugging into its power outlet, the Dash turns on automatically when the engine starts, and films wide-angle driving footage in a user's choice of 1080p, 720p or WVGA. The camera comes with a 4 GB microSD card for storage and will work with cards up to 32 GB. It shuts off automatically when the engine is turned off.
While the Dash could be useful for filming outings on twisty roads and fast tracks, it's designed more as a safety recorder. Its integrated G-Sensor detects incidents, such as hard braking and crashes, and saves the current, last and next recordings so that you can review them later. The Dash Cam with available GPS also records the time, location, speed and direction of travel.
The Dash's microphone allows the driver to record notes and other audio inside the vehicle. The cam can also be pulled off the windshield and used as a stills camera for taking photos of the scene and damage.
"Garmin Dash Cam is like a personal eyewitness that never misses an incident and provides proof of what happens on the road," says Dan Bartel, Garmin vice president of worldwide sales. "It is fully automated and gives drivers peace of mind knowing any events that might occur will be captured. Features such as an internal microphone and GPS add valuable context to the video files."
The Dash Cam will go on sale next month. The Dash Cam 10 (without GPS) will retail for US$219.99, while the GPS-equipped Dash Cam 20 will retail for $249.99. Each model will come with an integrated 2.3-in color display and vehicle power cable.