PhoneCam aims to bring body-camera security to everyday folks
Sometimes, violent people rein in their aggressive behavior if they know they're being recorded on video. Whipping out your phone and holding it up to film them, however, may make things even worse. That's where the PhoneCam comes in, as it's intended to serve as a sort of middle ground.
Manufactured by Dutch design agency Slimdesign, the PhoneCam is smaller than a cigarette lighter, and can be worn in a prominent location on the user's jacket or shirt. It incorporates a 1080p/30fps wide-angle video camera, a microphone, plus 4G/5G and Wi-Fi modules.
If the user finds themselves in what could turn out to be a dangerous situation, they press the PhoneCam's single button. Doing so puts it into standby mode, as is indicated by an LED ring on the device which illuminates white. The general idea is that this will draw the potential assailant's attention to the fact that a camera is indeed present.
If things continue to escalate, the user presses the button a second time. This makes the ring turn red, and it causes the PhoneCam to start transmitting footage to a cloud-based server, where it's recorded for possible use in court or by the police.
Additionally, a predetermined emergency contact is automatically notified via an app on their smartphone. That app displays a live audio/video feed from the PhoneCam, it shows the user's location on a map, plus it allows the contact person and user to have a two-way conversation.
The PhoneCam is available now for preorder, priced at US$69 – the jacket clip is an additional $39. A subscription is required, which is free if users just wish to utilize the basic features, and plan on sending no more than 20 minutes of alarm time per month. Other features can be accessed starting at a monthly fee of $3.99.