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New hi-def Garmin Dash Cam: record accidents and Russian meteors all from your car

Dashboard cameras recently got a lot of attention when videos of the Chelyabinsk meteor showed up online. If one of those events happens again, it would be good to have the Garmin Dash Cam handy.

Unveiled at the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show, the Dash Cam is a high-definition camera that mounts to a vehicle’s windshield and takes wide-angle shots of the road ahead. It’s activated by the start of a car’s engine, and can shoot in 1080p, 720p, or WVGA, displaying footage on a 2.3-inch LCD screen.

There’s also 4GB of internal storage (a microSD card will significantly increase that) and a built-in microphone.

Thanks to a built-in g-sensor, the camera can also detect sudden braking or a collision, at which point it automatically saves recordings, time stamps, GPS location, and current speed and heading. That could help solve insurance claims, assuming the driver isn’t at fault.

So much for the days of being suspicious of data-recording “black boxes” in cars. Now, they’re a source of entertainment.

Of course, a dashboard camera has less-Orwellian uses, such as recording a particularly epic track drive. Chevrolet has even gone one step further, offering an optional video and data-recording system on the 2015 Corvette.

The Dash Cam goes on sale in February in two versions: basic Dash Cam 10 for $219.99, or GPS-equipped Dash Cam 20 for $249.99.

In addition to the Dash Cam, Garmin unveiled a lineup of updated GPS devices at CES.

The most notable of these is the nevi 2798LMT, which features a wireless backup camera. Buyers can wire the camera to their’s car’s backup lights (Garmin recommends letting a professional do this) so the camera comes on as soon as the vehicle shifts into reverse, or manually toggle between navigation and camera screens.

The 2798LMT also features a seven-inch display and voice-activated navigation. It sells for $399.99.

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