For an auto enthusiast, sliding around a track or carving through a back road is only part of the fun. In a world filled with portable cameras and recording devices, much of the enjoyment comes from reliving the experience after the fact.
There are countless dash cam options to choose from in 2015, but few are truly as smart as they claim. Boston-based startup Waylens is trying to change that with its new automotive camera system, a data-driven device that can record video, overlay performance data on top of it, and even seek out the most interesting clips to share with your friends via the free companion app.
Waylens was born from the MIT Media Lab, and thus the product features an impressive level of technology and engineering. The camera itself appears to be very high quality, featuring a unibody aluminum enclosure and circular retina OLED display. Its 1080p60 footage is crisp and sharp — especially compared to the likes of the GoPro Hero 4 — and its Bluetooth-enabled OBDII connector, GPS, and onboard motion sensor allow it to seamlessly display data like vehicle speed, engine speed, turbocharger boost, cornering g-force, and other info over the captured film.
Furthermore, the companion app — available for iOS and Android — automatically cuts through hours of footage to find the juiciest shots, identifying the fastest 0 to 60 mph times or the most extreme cornering forces, for example.
“By the time a user pulls over, the Waylens mobile app has automatically created ready-to-share video clips and presents them to the user through a simple interface,” the company says. For added convenience, drivers can share their experiences from the steering wheel with a one-touch remote. The camera also equips dual microphones “for capturing the symphony of exhaust notes.” Track days will never be the same.
Waylens launched a Kickstarter campaign to finance the product on October 13. The firm hoped to raise $55,000 in just under a month, but some 400 backers pledged over $130,000 in just a few hours. As this is being written, the Waylens camera has more than $238,000 of financial support, and there are still 27 days of funding to go. Currently, the cheapest way to own the camera is by pledging $299, which locks in an estimated delivery date of June 2016.