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Technology & Innovation

Installing a Dashcam Has Never Been Easier (You Can Even Use Your Phone)

Dashcams are growing in popularity as drivers seek to protect themselves from liability… as well as catch some pretty cool footage from time to time.

Dashcam footage is some of the most incredible stuff on the Internet. There have been plane crashes, lightning strikes, meteors crashing down toward Earth, and (of course) terrible Russian drivers. It’s great. I mean, look: Here’s a bizarre dashcam video of a road rage incident involving dudes dressed as cartoon characters. Spongebob Squarepants has a hell of a right hook.

This is Internet gold, Jerry. Gold.

At one point dashcams were just an essential protection for Russian drivers who were fed up with unreliable traffic police, unsafe road conditions, and erratic insurance liability. These days, especially now that everyone’s got a camera in their pocket, dashboard cameras are growing in popularity around the world. Most drivers install them for the same reason as their Russian forebears: Evidence is the best defense. But there’s also a subculture of people who record because they hope to one day catch amazing footage of some incredible (or ridiculous) event. 

It’s never been easier to hook yourself up with a dashcam. In fact, David Nield at Gizmodo has a really nice piece up on how to set up your smartphone for the task. All you need is a dash or window mount and one of several useful apps for dashcam emulation. It should be noted though that this set-up isn’t legal everywhere:

“In the UK it’s currently illegal to drive a car with a live camera feed in your field of vision.”

So all you Brits might just want to splurge on a regular cam.

The most important thing to note here is that this technology is only going to get more accessible in the future. Solid brands and models can be had for under $50. Unless you live somewhere that (for now) outlaws them, there’s really very little reason not to invest in one. As The Guardian noted a few months ago, you’re better safe than sorry.

Read more at Gizmodo.

Another form of technology that’s growing in popularity is the police cam. Worn on an officer’s uniform, the camera would record every interaction between police and the public. Below, psychologist Paul Ekman offers up another form of technology he thinks would ease heated tensions between cops and citizens: anger detectors.

(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)


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