The automotive community absolutely fawns over action cameras -- showing off a good driving road or sharing a first-person racing experience is as easy as hitting Record. But now, there's an action cam on Kickstarter claiming to be built from the ground up for car enthusiasts, and it's gaining some very serious traction.
The Waylens goes a step above current action cams with its heavy focus on data. It's not just a camera -- the setup also includes a dongle that plugs right into your car's OBD-II diagnostics port. Through that connection, Waylens can pull vital information about your drive -- road speed, engine speed, boost pressure -- and overlay it on the resulting video. The system also makes use of built-in GPS, accelerometers and microphones to create a video you'll want to share immediately.
Immediacy is the name of the game with Waylens, as the data supplied from the car is also used for on-the-fly editing. By paying attention to the parts of the video with high lateral g-forces or long bursts of acceleration, the camera's included smartphone app will cut out the boring parts sans human intervention. And with a remote attached to the steering wheel, you can share your antics on social media before you've finished your drive -- although perhaps it's best to wait, especially if extra-legal speeds are involved.
Waylens will run off either battery power or your car's 12-volt socket, but the team behind the camera says it's looking into a hard-wired option. Depending on funding level, the company is also looking into personalized cameras, so you can color-coordinate your Waylens with your vehicle exterior.
For fans of DIY, the camera will also function as an OBD-II code reader. If you're driving along and your check-engine light comes on, Waylens will display the code that triggered the warning light on its rear-mounted OLED screen. The screen can also be configured to display other information that's taken from your car's computer.
Waylens is very similar to the(PDR) system found in higher-end General Motors cars, including the and . PDR overlays data on top of 720p video, but it's limited to the few vehicles that include it from the factory. BMW is going in the opposite direction, developing software that into the infotainment system on its BMW and Mini vehicles.
With a flashy video, engineering-porn photos and a direct appeal to auto enthusiasts, Waylens' Kickstarter surpassed its funding in the first week. Its initial request for $55,000 (about £35,585, AU$75,770) resulted in, as of this writing, $335,000 (about £216,940, about AU$461,430). That should keep the company on target as it approaches its first few milestones. Bear in mind that not all Kickstarters produce the expected results. Over the winter, more testing and an alpha software release is planned to take place, with pilot production starting in May and mass production happening by June.