Shenzhen-based HFK used the 2017 China International Motorcycle Fair in Chongqing this week to launch a product that just might become a killer app for motorcycles: a purpose-built Digital Video Recorder with 60 fps, 1080P (1920 x 1080) video recording from front- and rear-facing cameras, plus three-axis collision sensor and GPS data logging.
How many times have you been barrelling along on a motorcycle and wished you could share what you're seeing, not to mention capturing the "near miss" you've just had, or the fine details of the accident you're in the middle of having?
As soon as I saw the HFK stand at CIMA in Chongqing, I realised the company's only product to date had all the attributes of a killer app for motorcyclists.
Apart from the above functionality, the HFK HM601 DVR can be configured in a host of ways that make it useful for both road riders wishing to share their touring adventures and maybe even road, enduro and motocross racers wishing to broadcast their heroics to fans, friends and family.
The most compelling aspect of the HM601 DVR is that it has tight integration with both Android and iOS mobile phone apps that enable real-time sharing of video and still images by social media – all without getting off the bike, removing your helmet and digging out a mobile phone or camera to capture the view.
The two Sony cameras capture a wide angle 150-degree view front and rear, and you can configure the 2.7 inch LCD screen to show front and/or rear view or as picture in picture or even as a rear view "mirror" without the aerodynamic inefficiency of actual mirrors.
The main unit has removable data storage via a 128 GB SDHC card and you can also configure the unit to store video directly to your mobile phone wirelessly.
Most importantly, riding a motorcycle is a dangerous pastime, and the inherent instability of two wheels can have disastrous consequences if catalyzed by a slight nudge, or worse, from a car. Hence having a video recording of front and rear views at all times might be very handy as evidence in the case of an accident.
Sadly, the team on the HFK stand in Chongqing were friendly and helpful but they spoke no English and I had no Chinese and though we did our best, I'm certain there is more functionality I failed to grasp in the demonstration. Similarly, the price of RMB1980 (US$300) may well be the wholesale price as Chinese manufacturers often quote the wholesale buy price when speaking with foreigners – either way, it is remarkably cheap given the functionality and peace of mind of being able to provide irrefutable evidence in the case of accident.