My name is Hongfei and I am a Product Manager at Wyze. I have a few questions about dashboard cameras and would like to hear your thoughts on them.
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Here is the link to the survey:
Thank you so much for taking the time to help us!
I had one of the Racoons fill it out. Some good questions on the survey and a section to make your desires known.
Couldn’t answer in the survey, but it would be good to have HDR to pull out license plates when there are brake lights active. The ability to read license plates under varied conditions is very important for dashcams.
I filled it out. A couple things I have on my current dash cam that I didn’t see mentioned. I prefer the capacitor, sometimes they call it supper capacitor over lithium based batteries. This is due to the extreme heat that can happen from a dashcam in a closed car behind the windshield in the sun. I also have an add on polarizing filter that snaps on over the lens and can adjust to the particular conditions and mounting angle by turning the polarizing disc in the mount. This made a big improvement on picture quality by reducing glare both day and night ans always want that now. HDR is also important for the glare and light changes. WiFi is very important with auto save in case of damage such as fire.
I have used some dashcams and have done a lot of looking into these and I have learned a few things I hope you’ll keep in mind:
- Besides maybe the first couple days when it was a new fun toy, I have only really ever used the screen to set up the camera and make sure it is recording the exact area I want it to. Now if I want to review footage, the tiny screens are way too annoying, so I always use a computer or phone anyway to review footage (which isn’t very often since it’s mostly for those rare instances). If it seamlessly connects to my phone screen, I don’t care much about the dashcam having a screen since I’ll always use my phone to look at it anyway…but some people do care to have it (even if most of them will never use it), so that’s something Wyze will have to take into account. It raises the cost a lot, for something people rarely use, but if they don’t have it, a lot of people won’t buy it even though they’re probably never going to use it. Tough call to make there.
- GPS and Speed tracking in a dashcam SEEM like cool features at first, but the reality is that they can hurt you more than help you in lots of cases. I know a guy who had a dashcam that recorded GPS and speed, and in an accident, he used his footage to PROVE the other guy was at fault, which is what the cop and everyone else said. They were going to rule completely in his favor for everything…until the other guy’s insurance checked the speed based on his GPS logs which showed that he was going something like 2-3 mph over the speed limit. The Other guy’s insurance used this to argue that since he was breaking the law by going over the speed limit, then he is now 50% at fault because if he had been going just a little bit slower, even a few milliseconds of extra time to react could’ve made the entire thing play out differently and maybe prevented the entire accident, but this evidence of his breaking the speed limit now changed this from not his fault at all to it suddenly being half his fault and they ruled he was now equally liable because he gave up evidence he was “speeding” a couple MPH over the speed limit, which they wouldn’t have otherwise known. The point is, sometimes the GPS and speed recordings on a dashcam can damn you as much as they can help you. I now always turn those off of visibly showing on the recording screen and not be in the metadata.
- My point is this…if Wyze does include GPS or speed data on the dashcam (as one of the questions asked), PLEASE either a) make it optional, so we can turn it off or even better, b) record that data separately, but make it OPTIONAL to display it in any exported recording…so we can choose to only record it if we want it on there, but can leave it off if we don’t. I don’t need an insurance company claiming I’m half at fault because the GPS (which can be slightly off) says I was going 1 mph over the speed limit and that 1 mph difference could’ve given me more reaction time to prevent the whole thing. Just saying. GPS/speed is nice and something lots of people [think they] want, but if you could make it so it was more of an “overlay” option instead of a requirement, that would be preferable…maybe allow it to work that way if we connect the phone up to it and store the video on the phone/app…then we could choose whether to export the video with or without the overlay.
- I definitely prefer dual lens, but I could always buy 2 and just point one backward, so it’s not critical.
- Option to connect to WiFi when parked. Then if it is at home and wakes up because of a person breaking into the car, it can connect to the home WiFi and send an alert…it doesn’t do much good to alert of car break-ins if it only records the events and the dude steals the dashcam so you never see it anyway. Although, that’s a rare use-case…I guess usually “Parking mode” is mostly for recording when someone hits your vehicle in the parking lot, especially in case they try to just leave afterward…I wonder how hard it would be to allow the cam to try to connect to an open WiFi to send you an alert in that situation (maybe using a VPN/secure connection).
A lot more could probably be mentioned, but those are things I didn’t really think much about until I’d used one for a couple of years. If you do have it connect up to the phone/app when we turn on the car, it could have all sorts of cool “smart” options. You could possibly try to market it to some parents of teens similar to how other devices alert parents of excessive speeds or if it thinks there could’ve been an accident or something. If the dashcam automatically connects up to an approved person’s phone, it could potentially send an alert if it senses an accident or something for example. I look forward to your research and hope you really do come out with something, even if it is super simple.
Lastly, having just a simple dashcam was really helpful when my wife got in an accident a while ago. They were assuming she was at fault. At home I reviewed the dashcam video and was able to show we had video footage proving the other driver broke the law and was at fault (they moved into a right-turn only lane, signaled they were turning right, then did an illegal lane change in the middle of the intersection and went straight, ramming into my wife). Dashcam footage changed the ENTIRE thing to the other person’s fault instead. It paid for itself many times over.
On the cam I have now I like the built in GPS, it also has a separate setting for speed on/off. The problem with speed it takes a few seconds to catch up to real time. Like if I make a full stop at a stop sign/light the speed shown on the screen shows I am still moving for a few seconds which could screw you if LEO said you didn’t come to a complete stop I agree with the super capacitor idea but it would be nice to have replaceable batteries which may not be possible. My old camera works great but the battery is dead so it will not save the last video and if your in a accident you are screwed there also as far as video.
Yes, good explanation/example. I would love a way to have them tracked, but only show up if I select them. I have heard that since the speed is determined based on the GPS, if GPS is enabled they can always calculate speed from it and possibly use it against us, and that is concerning. In theory, if it is a really important case, they can always use other markers to determine speed anyway. For example, in some dashcam videos they will use certain things on screen to calculate speed. If they know how far apart object 1 is and object 2 (mile markers, lines on the road, or any number of other things that have a specific distance or can be measured for a set distance), then they can check how long it takes those 2 things to pass by the same pixel location and figure out the exact speed that way by analyzing the video. Of course they rarely go to this extent unless there are hundreds of thousands of dollars or more at stake…but I suppose at some point the GPS/SPEED conveniences aren’t a critical concern since the video itself is usually enough to pull anything that is really important even if we disable GPS/speed. I still like the idea of an option to only include that data if I tell it to do so. Then everyone gets what they want and they cater to every group.
I would love to see a dash+cabin camera with a WIRELESS wide-angle rear cam. Many SUVs now have power in the rear cabin - that way I won’t have to try and run a wire all the way to the front of the vehicle.
I am just trying to understand, what is meant by a wireless rear cam that still plugs in for power. Would it connect wirelessly to front cam for some reason? Maybe to use the little LCD screen on the front cam? Why not just have it display on the phone screen instead so that it can be a totally separate device not dependent on the front cam?
I definitely like the wide angle suggestion.
I haven’t yet gotten any rear facing dash cam. Is there a benefit to having one actually in the back of the vehicle not recording the cabin as opposed to recording the cabin and the back windshield like several do? I’m guessing it is more clear in the back?
I wouldn’t want to see a rear view video of my last accident, the front view was bad enough. I was doing 65 MPH and got rear ended by a BMW doing 80 MPH. rough ride and my 2008 Tacoma Pick up was destroyed front , rear and both sides.
OH WOW! That would’ve been terrifying! Something your mind-cam can never erase even if you don’t have a dash cam to remember it by. Yikes. I can certainly see the benefit in the newer cars having things like assisted braking to recognize situations like these and try to prevent them from being so bad, at least in theory. I can’t imagine how traumatic that must have been for you.
One thing I like about Dashcams is that if the recording helps me then I can have proof and choose to share it. Even if it was something this traumatic and I didn’t want to relive it or see it again, I could still choose not to view it myself, but it could help make sure that my repair and hospital and other bills are taken care of (evidence it wasn’t my fault no matter what the other guy tries to say).
Sadly, there are too many instances where other drivers try to lie about what happened and push the blame anywhere else, making up things that weren’t even true.
There are some people who are honest though...
The last accident we had a couple of weeks ago, a pregnant door-dasher in a hurry accidently T-boned us, but she was such a sweet cool lady, and we enjoyed chatting while we waited for the cops and when they came, she totally took FULL responsibility to the cop…I was shocked, we didn’t need a dash cam this time, it’s like the first time someone hasn’t just given a billion excuses or blame. I liked her a lot, we could’ve totally been friends.
I wish more people were honest like that, but in my 4+ decades I’ve learned that when people are facing potential financial or other consequences for their actions, it’s more of an exception to the rule to find someone who takes full responsibility for themselves, and while those are amazing people, I’ve learned it’s safer for me to have a dashcam or something just in case I’m involved with one of the other kinds.
I just put some photos of why you need a dash cam on the Wishlist dash cam thread. Just Red light runners and a Mr. No Stop, Two from today and one from Tuesday if you are interested. As for my experience I found I had things that hurt I didn’t even know could hurt. The Air Bag did quite a number on the skin of my arm.
lots of road facing directly to the west.
camera needs filter and hood
Running a wire to a power source in the rear is a LOT easier than running a cable all the way from the back of the vehicle to the front windshield to plug it into the dashcam.
I agree with the battery issue. Temperatures reach over 115 in the summer, and get a lot hotter if the windows are closed. Can be a problem for batteries. Also the camera case and electronics need to withstand the high temperatures here, and low temperatures in other locations.