When you get a new car, and you feel like a star, the first thing you will probably do is ride it on board a ghost. This is where the Owl camera can enter.
I've tested Owl, a permanent two-way camera that records everything that goes on inside and outside your car all day, every day for a few weeks.
The Owl Camera is designed to monitor your car for break-ins, collisions and police stops. Owl can also be used to capture fun moments (see above) on the road or beautiful scenery, simply by saying, "Ok, presto."
If Owl detects a car accident, he automatically records the video on your phone, including the 10 seconds before and after the accident. Also, if someone is attracted to your car because of the camera and its flashing green light, and that it is flying, Owl will give you another one.
For 24 hours, you can see your driving and any other incidents that occurred during the day. You can, of course, record sequences on your phone so you can watch them after 24 hours.
The bi-directional camera plugs into the onboard diagnostic port of your car (every car built after 1996 has one) and only takes a few minutes to install. The camera slips between the dashboard and the windshield. Once it's plugged in, you can access your car's camera anytime via the Owl mobile app.
I was a little skeptical about how easily I could install the camera, but it was rather easy. From opening the box to starting the camera, it took less than ten minutes.
Access to pictures
It's there that it can be a little complicated. If you want to record footage after the fact, Owl requires you to be physically near the camera. It meant that I had to put on real clothes and go out to my car to access the images of the past 24 hours to connect to the Owl's Wi-Fi. Finally, however, Owl says that it will be possible to access these images on LTE.
But that was not my only problem with access to the footage. Once I have tried to download the footage, the application often crashes or only downloads part of the images I have requested. This, however, should be easily repairable, since Owl is set up for over-the-air updates. In fact, Owl said that the company was aware of this problem and was publishing a solution this week. If I want to see the live video, however, it's easy to access.
Owl is set up to let you know if and when something happens to your car while you're not there. My Owl's ready-to-use settings were set to high sensitivity, which meant that I would get notifications if a car was just going through it. Changing the settings to a lower sensitivity has helped correct the inconvenience of too many notifications.
Since the installation of the Owl camera, there has been no situation in which I have been informed of any harmful behavior that occurred in or around my car . But I'm reassured to know that if something happens, I'll be notified right away and I'll be able to see live pictures of everything that's going on.
I understand that most of the market cameras are not configured to provide 24/7 video access, and that they are not designed to be updated by radio. For example, the best-selling dash camera on Amazon is a one-way camera with collision detection, but this is not always the case. This one is selling around $ 100, while the choice of Amazon is one that costs only $ 47.99, and comes with Wi-Fi for real-time viewing and video playback.
The price of the owl is much higher than that of its competitors, at $ 299, with an LTE service offered at $ 10 a month. At present, Owl is only available for $ 349, which includes a year of LTE service.
Unlike Owl's competition, however, the device is still on because it plugs into the OMD port of your car. It's the main differentiator, the most attractive to me. To be clear, while the owl sucks the energy from your car's battery, it's smart enough to know when to turn it off. Last weekend, I did not drive my car for more than 24 hours, so Owl was off to make sure my battery was not dead once back .
Owl, which was launched last month, received $ 18 million in funding from Defy Ventures, Khosla Ventures, Menlo Ventures, Sherpa Capital and others. The company was founded by Andy Hodge, a former product manager at Apple and executive at Dropcam, and Nathan Ackerman, who previously led the development of Microsoft HoloLens.
P.S. I listened to "Finesse" by Bruno Mars and Cardi B in the GIF above.