Vezo 360-degree dash cam also gives drowsy drivers a nudge
Drowsy drivers kill, which is why we've seen a number of technological solutions take aim at the problem, from established automakers and idealistic startups alike. Currently on Kickstarter, the Vezo 360 is the latest to roll onto the scene and serves as a 360-degree dash cam first and foremost, but with the ability to pick up on tired drivers and give them a nudge if need be.
Windshield wipers that track your eyeballs from Jaguar Land Rover, drowsiness detectors from Nissan and Peugeot's i-Cockpit system are just a few of the ways big-name carmakers are trying to keep tired drivers on the straight and narrow.
But that hasn't stopped a number of startups taking aim at the problem, too, such the Ridy we looked last year and even apps built for Google Glass back in 2014. These kinds of solutions monitor a driver's facial expressions, taking note of the frequency of their blinks or how deep their yawns are to pickup on when they might be drifting off.
AirVizon is yet another one, and it doesn't go into a whole lot of detail on how its Vezo 360 cam achieves this, only to say that it uses a machine learning algorithm to detect signs of drowsiness. This algorithm takes its cues from changes in the driver's eyes and mouth, and sounds an alarm at differing intensities depending on how severe a wake-up call is needed.
Beyond this, the Vezo 360 should act as a very capable dashcam. Its dual lens setup captures 4K video in all directions and can monitor the surroundings when the car is parked in case of a break-in. It hooks up to the internet over 4G and Wi-Fi and your phone over Bluetooth, allowing for remote livestreams of the action from your car.
The GPS chip is a nice touch, too, so users can figure out where they've parked, as is the magnetic mount that allows it to be easily yanked off the dash so the Vezo 360 can be used as a regular camera.
Though AirVizon hopes to start shipping the Vero 360 in May and has already surpassed its US$25,000 funding goal, the usual word of warning for crowdfunding campaigns applies. Early pledges of US$149 will put you in line for one of the cameras, along with the windshield mount and charging cables.
You can check out the pitch video below.
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But that does raise another question about auto and truck based forward looking dashcams. The question is, why aren't dashcams included as standard (or options) on all new cars? Cops use dashcams (sometimes, eh?), and many civilians now buy dashcams for their own personal use. Dashcams are incredibly useful as record keepers for accident records, for insurance purposes, and for recording interactions with cops. I notice that some new cars have backup cameras, but no front cameras. Really?
So, why, since the auto manufacturers are getting deeper into electronics, including digital imaging, don't they offer forward viewing cameras? It would seem to me the forward looking cameras would be of great help in keeping historical events recorded and in helping resolve courtroom issues.