PureGear’s multitasking dash cam watches the road while keeping you connected

Simply monitoring the road ahead isn’t enough to stay competitive in the increasingly crowded world of dash cams.

During CES 2019, PureGear unveiled a dash cam named PureCam that boosts the tech IQ of older cars by doing the work of two or three devices. Speaking to Digital Trends, PureGear senior product development manager Arthur Chen explained the firm noticed a big gap in the dash cam market. His team saw an opportunity to develop a 4G LTE-connected unit that records what happens ahead of the driver, monitors what goes on in the passenger compartment, and keeps the passengers connected on-the-go.

At its core, the PureCam performs the basic functions of an ordinary dash cam. Its dual cameras record footage inside and outside of the car, even when it’s dark outside, and built-in g-sensors automatically save the footage if they detect an impact (from an accident, a break-in, or another incident). The front-facing camera records in 1080p, 720p, and VGA; the rear-facing camera tops out at 720p. Regardless of direction, footage considered crucial is sent straight to the cloud, so the user can retrieve it even if the PureCam is stolen or damaged beyond use.

What helps the PureCam stand out from other dash cams on the market is that it doubles as a Wi-Fi hotspot. Activating this feature requires a sim card and a data plan, but it’s a smart way to turn an older car not compatible with Wi-Fi into a fully connected one. The hotspot function keeps up to three devices online at the same time.

The PureCam also lets users remotely keep an eye on their car at all times, from anywhere in the world, via a purpose-designed app compatible with Android- and Apple-powered devices. The app can show footage from up to three cameras on an unlimited number of smartphones. Why three? We asked, and Chen explained PureGear’s research shows the members of its target audience typically don’t own more than three cars. Don’t worry about draining your car’s battery, either. Vivian Chou, one of PureGear’s engineers, told us the PureCam is connected to the car’s OBD port, so it constantly monitors the battery’s voltage and automatically turns itself off if the reading falls below 11.8 volts.

At launch, the PureCam will only be compatible with cars equipped with an OBD port; sorry, but it’s not going to work in your hand-me-down Plymouth Horizon. Chen told Digital Trends the company is looking into other options, like a hard-wiring kit, but nothing has been finalized yet. Regardless of how it’s connected, it saves up to 680 minutes of footage when set to the lowest resolution and equipped with a 32 GB micro SD card.

The PureCam is on sale now through PureGear’s official website, though the company is also talking to retailers who have manifested an interest in carrying it. Online pricing starts at $249 for the unit and a 16 GB micro SD card, but keep in mind you will need to subscribe to a data plan to keep it connected. Chen told Digital Trends the average user should plan on going through two gigabytes a month, an amount of data which should cost approximately $20 per month. Pricing will vary depending on the internet provider and how often motorists use the PureCam.


Rock out in the carpool lane with Singing Machine’s Carpool Karaoke microphone

Carpool Karaoke fans can count down the days till summer. That's when Singing Machine's Carpool Karaoke microphone will be available. Connect the Carpool Karaoke Mic to your car radio to make your next road trip a mobile karaoke party.

Wi-Fi helps connect all of our devices at high-speed, but what exactly is it?

What is Wi-Fi? It's a technology we all use everyday to connect all of our portable devices, but understanding how it works and how far it's come from its humble beginnings is another thing entirely.

The best Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus cases to keep your titanic phone safe

The new Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus is a gorgeous device, with one of the best dual-lens cameras we've ever seen. Keep your titanic device safe and scratch-free with the best Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus cases.

Tesla’s Dog Mode lets good Samaritans know that Fido’s A-OK

Tesla's latest over-the-air software update adds two features called Sentry Mode and Dog Mode. Sentry Mode records footage and alerts the owner if someone breaks in, while Dog Mode runs the A/C so owners can safely keep their dogs in their…

Report: Amazon and General Motors may invest in electric pickup company Rivian

General Motors and Amazon may invest between $1 billion to $2 billion for minority stakes in U.S. startup Rivian, an all-electric truck company, Reuters reports. Rivian introduced the R1T pickup at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto show.

Ford F-150 recall: Fault could cause vehicle to downshift into first gear

Ford is recalling 1.48 million F-150 vehicles over a potential fault that could cause it to suddenly downshift into first gear. The automaker said it's currently aware of five accidents related to the issue.

Volkswagen’s hot-rodded T-Roc R is ready to shred its tires to confetti

Volkswagen released a teaser sketch to preview a hot-rodded SUV named T-Roc R. Insiders suggest it will be closely related to the mighty Golf R, meaning it will pack a turbocharged, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine rated at about 300…

Honda’s Urban EV is shaping up to be a high-tech, high-style electric city car

Honda will travel to the 2019 Geneva Auto Show to unveil a close-to-production prototype that previews an adorable, city-friendly electric car. The Urban EV will offer about 155 miles of range, and its interior is a tech lover's dream come…

Audi’s Geneva-bound Q4 E-Tron concept will give us a glimpse of the future

Audi has released a trio of teaser sketches to preview the Q4 E-Tron concept. Scheduled to make its debut at the 2019 Geneva Auto Show, the design study takes the form of an electric SUV with a muscular design and a tech-filled interior.

Bentley Bentayga Speed surpasses Lamborghini Urus as world’s fastest SUV

The Bentley Bentayga Speed has wrested the title of world's fastest SUV from its cousin, the Lamborghini Urus. But the Bentley is just 1 mph faster than the Lamborghini. It requires 626 horsepower to achieve that top speed.
Emerging Tech

With CabinSense, cars will soon know who’s riding in them and respond accordingly

What if your car could know who's riding in it and customize the entertainment and safety options accordingly? That’s what's promised by the new CabinSense in-car Occupancy Monitoring System.

General Motors cycles into a new market with its first-ever ebikes

When General Motors launched a public campaign last year to name its new ebike brand, many wondered if Bikey McBikeface might win out. But it didn't. Instead, it's called Arīv, and the two bikes are up for pre-order this week.
Product Review

The 2020 Volvo V60 Cross Country is a do-it-all Swedish army knife

Volvo laced up its smallest station wagon in hiking clothes to create the V60 Cross Country. It's a lifted, all-wheel drive wagon that laughs at icy roads while coddling its occupants. We travel to Sweden to try it out.

The Polestar 2, Sweden’s answer to the Tesla Model 3, begins taking shape

Volvo sister company Polestar has released a teaser image to give us our first look at the 2, its second model. Polestar tells us the 2 will arrive as a four-door fastback with a 400-hp electric powertrain and about 300 miles of range.