App unlocks Bluetooth viewfinder on ContourGPS

A previously unnoticed Bluetooth chip in the location-aware HD sports camera enables it to wirelessly connect to an upcoming smartphone app.

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LAS VEGAS--When Contour announced its ContourGPS location-aware HD sports camera last year, it held back a bit of information: there's a Bluetooth chip inside the device that has been sitting unused. However, a pair of new smartphone apps for Android and iPhone devices aims to put that wireless connection to good use.

After downloading a software patch (not yet available) and updating the ContourGPS' firmware to unlock the Bluetooth connection, users will be able to grab the Contour Mobile app from the Android Market or the iTunes App Store, and connect their smartphone to the camera. Users will then be able to use their handset's screen as a viewfinder for aiming and monitoring, which is a godsend for anyone who has ever wasted a day of shooting due to a misaligned shot. The app can also be used to play back recorded video stored on the camera, great for double-checking captured footage.

A previously unnoticed Bluetooth chip allows the ContourGPS to wirelessly connect to an upcoming smartphone app.
A previously unnoticed Bluetooth chip allows the ContourGPS to wirelessly connect to an upcoming smartphone app. Contour

The unlocked Bluetooth connection also enables users to change camera settings through the app--a process that currently involves uploading preferences via USB--and may eventually allow for the wireless connection of proprietary and third-party accessories, such as external microphones or remote controls.

The ContourGPS currently retails for $349, and the Contour Mobile app should be free, when the Android version becomes available this spring. The iOS version of the app, currently pending Apple's approval, requires the use of a Contour ConnectView Bluetooth encryption card that costs $29.99.

Along with the new Bluetooth functionality and mobile app, Contour also announced a trio of mounting options for its line of sports cameras, including a roll bar mount for motor sports applications, a headband mount for hands-free recording without a helmet, and a Picatinny adapter that enables Contour cameras to be attached to tactical firearms, paintball rails, and any MIL-STD-1913 rail.

 

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