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Dash Cam

Auto snaps images as you drive
  (+3, -1)
(+3, -1)
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This is a dashboard-mounted digital in-car camera that takes pictures at preset intervals, based on time elapsed or distance traveled. It could take an image every X seconds/minutes or X miles (tied into the vehicle's odometer). It could also be pointed and manually triggered by a passenger in the vehicle.

It could display the last image taken on an LCD screen mounted on the dashboard. Interface controls near the screen would allow viewing of the images in a 'movie' format, as well as deleting unwanted images.

I think it would be interesting to have something like this on a long driving vacation. Yes there would probably be a lot of boring images of cars ahead of you, but undoubtedly there would be a few keepers and shots of things you probably would not have thought to take manually, that you'd be glad to have afterward.

Having recently completed a 1500-mile drive, I would have loved to have something like this.

waugsqueke, Apr 27 2003

"American Mile Markers" http://www.kodak.co...ad/home/index.shtml
A photo every mile. It's Flash. [waugsqueke, Oct 05 2004, last modified Oct 21 2004]

"Rendezvous" by Claude Lelouch http://s73322911.on...overview.shopscript
He attaached a 16mm camera to the front of his Ferrari and drove through Paris at speeds in excess of 100mph. He didn't get any roads closed for this - he just did it very early in the morning.
This site shows you some short extracts (Quicktime) from the 9 minute film. [hippo, Oct 05 2004, last modified Oct 21 2004]

instant replay http://www.halfbake...ea/Instant_20replay
related idea [hippo, Oct 05 2004]


       So, which would be better X minutes or X miles?
bristolz, Apr 27 2003

       Recipe for Dash Cam:
1) Take one laptop.
2) Take one USB web camera.
3) Place USB camera on dashboard.
4) Put laptop on passenger seat.
5) Run included webcam software.
Cedar Park, Apr 27 2003

       CP, that won't work. You will not be able to take a picture every 3 miles with that setup. Yes, you could use a GPS device and custom programming... or you could just use the device described in my idea.   

       bris, depends on your preferences, I suppose. In slow moving traffic, [Miles] would probably work better. In open road through scenic country side, I'd probably use [Minutes].
waugsqueke, Apr 27 2003

       You might be able to do it if you had a GPS receiver attached to the computer and a small custom program.
Cedar Park, Apr 27 2003

       GPS is cool, but with a laptop I'd rather have a 2nd cam pointed at the odometer. Using optical character recognition, the laptop could identify the desired mileage intervals.

On an unrelated topic, I've often wished I had a video dash cam, on some trips. The maneuvers people make right in plain view (let alone non-driving activities of drivers) are astonishing. And they may even be entertaining to watch later, when I have less fear of impending death.
Amos Kito, Apr 27 2003

       If you had the cam taking pics once every minute or so, when you got home you could put all of the pics together in a movie clip and watch your trip in high speed. Yet another useful tool for those who enjoy boring their friends/family with vacation slides.
robophobic, Apr 28 2003

       Maybe it should look like a white chocolate Jesus in plastic.
FarmerJohn, Apr 28 2003

       I occasionally do something similar when on holiday; a video camera set up on a tripod behind the front seats, so the lens is alongside my left ear. Good for reliving those "Did you see that?" moments.
angel, Apr 28 2003

       [waugsqueke], forgive me, but aren't there about a dozen very similar ideas on HB? I anno'd one just today. I can't believe this isn't baked in some low-cost form.   

       //I think it would be interesting to have something like this on a long driving vacation.//   

       I've wanted to do one of these trip records for myself, but in an aircraft. I'd need to cable-tie the camera onto the fixed landing gear and so I plan to use a wireless/wired low cost and low weight CCD just in case it comes off in flight. The problem I'll need to solve is vibration, because of the slow exposure speed of the camera. I guess I'll build an air deflector and put a rubber damper on the strut mount.   

       //Did you see that?//   

       [angel], with the cost and size of digital cameras coming down eventually, we'll be able to have an unobtrusive head-mounted D-Y-S-T cam to capture all such events, party moments, conquests, etc.
FloridaManatee, Apr 28 2003

       This may be a fairly common idea as I've had the same thoughts about time/mileage lapse photography in the past. I thought about this again while on a recent 1800 mile road trip. I thought it would produce boring and useless results. However, since other people have thought of it too, I'm probably wrong. (+).   

       I wouldn't be a bit surprised if somewhere, somehow, some unimaginably imaginative and talented individual has taken the concept to the next level and come up with a sophisticated implementation and commercial application for such a system.
half, Apr 28 2003


       get a friend to take the shots   

       she/he could be in some too
peter2, Apr 28 2003

       I remember about a year ago there was a story on TV about a man who had built a dashboard camera (well, sort of). It was actually two or three cameras, like webcams, one pointing ahead and fixed to his rear-view mirror, and another looking out of the back windscreen. They would be constantly recording the scene and would record over themselves on a loop. If you crashed, or were hit by somebody, the system would stop using some impact sensor so that the past half-minute was kept on the 'tape' - good for identification, insurance claims, etc. If it didn't stop automatically, you had a few seconds grace to stop it manually. His problems were that he couldn't find cheap webcam hardware good enough for the resolution needed (auto-focussing for example) to catch car number plates - kind of a crucial bit of the plan! But if all you want is an instant playback of a deer at the side of the road or a non-threatening bit of bad driving, I guess you don't need that kind of resolution.
badgers, Apr 28 2003

       There's Matt Frondorf's "American Mile Markers" project he did for Kodak (link). Indeed, it was part of the inspiration for my idea. His shots were taken out the passenger window, using 36-exposure 35mm film. He had to change the film every 36 miles, with one hand while driving. Yipes.   

       Florida, I searched the bakery and was not able to find this idea already here. If you know of its existence, please bring it to my attention.   

       peter2, I can't imagine anyone is going to want to take pictures manually every mile for 1500 miles.
waugsqueke, Apr 28 2003

       Make it hidden and you could stalk your spouse or significant other to make sure they aren't heading to your best friend's house or something.
goober, Apr 28 2003

       //peter2, I can't imagine anyone is going to want to take pictures manually every mile for 1500 miles.//   

       Or ever look at them. Maybe it's just me, or the fact that I just spent 22 hours in a U-haul, and would dread reliving a second of it, let alone the whole thing.
Worldgineer, Apr 28 2003

       //peter2, I can't imagine anyone is going to want to take pictures manually every mile for 1500 miles.//   

       yes thats stretching a friendship for sure.   

       I like this idea. Iv'e had my son do similar on a short trip around the city. But he quickly got jack of it. 1500 shots run at 25 fps video would be a one minute visual flurry. More distant objects in shot would show apparent movement (like mountains or buildings far off). Auto settings for focus, color-balance and exposure would make such an animation less smooth(as the requirements would change shot to shot). But for still images this would obviously be required.
peter2, Apr 28 2003

       See "Rendezvous" link.
hippo, Apr 29 2003


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