As people, we love the train wreck. We love them so instinctively to the extent those two words have evolved to captivate a human meaning of us, people, wrecking our lives. They’re not even two words anymore, it’s one. That person can’t get it together. They’re such a trainwreck! We enjoy seeing others explode as much as the visceral detonation of erupting planes, trains, automobiles and drones. This falling drone YouTube video has been watched over 6 million times:
We all have this fascination for the combustible combat of metal versus metal. If reality television is the buffet line for the obese trainwreck gawker, shows like Cops and World’s Wildest Police Videos have become the desert table where the senselessly fat explode in harmony with their deliciously hopeless trainwreck images.
Just look away! Unless the dash cam is mounted to your own car and the video it captures protects you from liability.
I first became aware of “personal” dash cams after clicking a banner ad selling these things for a company called Thinkware. In the U.S., the perception is, and now was, that video could only be used by law enforcement to document events such as everyday traffic occurrences. The visit to the Thinkware website opened my eyes to the strange and bizarre things that occur on the streets of America. Here, have a look and be amazed:
This one is interesting as it shows both front and rear-view trainwreck perspectives. Notice how the semi just keeps trucking down the highway oblivious to mangled metal behind. In the video above did you notice how drivers barely braked to pass the fellow driver of the wrecked truck to inquire of his or her condition post trainwreck? Like the semi truck driver, they couldn’t get away fast enough:
With Iot making its way into commonplace devices, video can be transmitted, say from a user-generated dash cam, back to the manufacturer for sharing on its YouTube channel for marketing, metrics or any of a number of business purposes. Even a driver-generated video competition. Here are a few of Thinkware’s latest greatest hits:
Thinkware’s driver video collection speaks for itself and is the company’s greatest salesforce. Capturing user video in the car or by drone is as essential for legal protection as it is for those addicted to the sheer viewing pleasure. If you use your flying or driving vehicle professionally, essential becomes a requirement.
In many countries, dash cams are critical to protecting the innocent from the deliberately dishonest who fraudulently concoct accidents in order to file legal claims against the innocent. Not too long ago, this practice was a minor epidemic on the mean streets of Los Angeles which begrudgingly accepted the endowment as The Staged Car Accident Capital Of The U.S.
After a little investigation, I learned that daytime video with personal dash cams is bright and legible. Nighttime video, on the other hand, is prone to fuzzy shadows and obscure flashes of light that distort image resolution. Harsh weather conditions only make the images more inaccurate which is when veracity is needed most.
Front, side and rear-view video are vital. Unlike drones and heads, dash-mounted cameras can’t pivot or rotate, at least not yet. Like drones, the most important feature to the dash cam is GPS which places a location stamp to each and every frame. In some models, collision detection can warn drivers of an impending crash…seconds before detonation, enough time for last second nostalgia, This is not a product review article.
Thinkware makes dash cam video products, but strangely enough HR software such as payroll, invoicing and reporting for human resources through Thinkware, Inc. A basic search on Google for the company’s EULA produces nada, which may mean that if you buy a Thinkware dash cam your video is not just yours, but Thinkware’s. There’s a lesson to be learned for all IoT product buyers whether its cars or even drones — at the end of the day, whose data is it?
Ignoring that question for a moment, law abiding people who prefer to avoid trainwrecks than be part of them, will answer yes to the original question. Yes, trainwrecks are going to happen, even on our own streets, neighborhoods and skies above. Yes, get a personal dash cam installed in your car and drone. For protection, legal protection. Don’t install a personal dash cam for entertainment, please.