Gadgets: Nexar One dashcam shows how far technology has come to create a second set of eyes for safety | Business

Full disclosure: I’m not big on social media. I don’t care where you ate dinner. I don’t want you to know where I ate mine. But I’m obsessed with one account on Instagram: @crashdashes (and several similar versions). I don’t wish the crashes on anyone, but I enjoy the video access that a dashcam gives you to the front row of the action.

Why not have your own dashcam for your safety? (And maybe you’ll have a video sent to one of these accounts.)

The new Nexar One has a front-facing 140-degree wide-angle camera described by the company as its most powerful dashcam yet with next-generation technology to protect you, your car and any other valuables inside, including passengers.

Often, dashcams are an added accessory, and they are not difficult to install yourself. This one is essentially plug and play with your car’s USB ports. That’s what I did. But if you need help, I’d guess you have a friend, family member or neighbor who can assist. If not, try your local mechanic.

Without going into all the installation specifics, Nexar gives a few essential mounting tips. The primary tip is to install it in a place that will not interfere with the driver’s visibility or safety. The best and most common place is behind and to the right of your rearview mirror. Depending on your vehicle, do not mount the dashcam where it would be blocking airbags.

A magnetic bracket is attached to the camera, and the 3M film adheres to the windshield (three strips included). While the magnetic attachment is vital, removing the dashcam from the magnet is easy if you want the camera out of the car. Putting it back in is then as simple as connecting the magnets. Once the desired location is chosen for the Nexar One dashcam, the lens does have some movement for getting the perfect angle.

Once you have your location, it’s time to move on — but make the location choice before installation begins. The following item, which must be done with care, is the power kit, which in many cases is specific to the dashcam you’re working with. The power kit starts at your vehicle’s OBD port, which should be easy to find on your own; look in the manual or website. It’s there. The OBD port starts the power and sends it to the camera’s USB port. If it’s done right, you’ll supply the camera with enough power to operate appropriately.

There are other more straightforward options for powering the Nexar One in seconds with the included USB cable, connecting the USB-C side to the camera, and the USB-A connection to a powered port in the vehicle. A 6-volt cigarette lighter plug is also included and was my choice for the initial testing.

The wiring is easy to hide, either with a tool to hide it under ceiling fabric with the included tool or with cable clips (six included). I’d suggest a temporary installation of keeping the wires away at first, but be able to change them if you want to reposition things after the first few uses. (Note: I changed mine three times.)

Now the fun begins. Assuming the camera is installed and connected for power, you’ll need the Nexar app. Make a free account and follow the onscreen instructions for connecting the camera to your smartphone via Bluetooth. The app ensures it’s paired, checks, and installs any needed updates, which does take a few minutes.

The features the camera brings into your world are truly amazing. You get a free month of Nexar Connect, $9.99 monthly after. The subscription-based service is amazing. It gives you your live location and remotely connects the camera to your smartphone for streaming video, parking features and critical emergency alerts. The app has a step for adding your emergency contacts.

Other features let you say, “Hey Siri, I’m getting pulled over,” and your emergency contacts will be notified. With the subscription, recording can be cloud-saved. Having a dashcam in your vehicle is, in a lot of ways, better than another pair of eyes.

Installation and app setup take a little time — less than an hour in my case. What takes some time is learning the fantastic features inside this LTE camera with an Ultra HD 4K resolution. I like how Nexar One refers to itself as a smart doorbell. It protects the vehicle from the front going back.

The Nexar One dashcam gives alerts while driving, and in the event of an accident, it instantly sends any nominated emergency contacts a video of the accident. Knock on wood that I won’t test this feature.

Alerts will be sent out even while the vehicle is parked, so if your car is hit, you’ll find out instantly with an alert and livestreaming. With livestreaming, you can check on the vehicle anytime from anywhere. Other alerts and alarms are timely for a break-in.

Inside the Nexar One is a Sony Starvis sensor to produce stunning 4K recordings with perfect color-balanced video. The front-facing 140-degree camera delivers clear resolution at 25-30 frames per second, with automatic white balance and variable exposure.

Optional add-ons attached to the side of the camera itself include an LTE unit, which, according to Nexar, allows for all connectivity features when paired with Nexar Connect. Another add-on coming soon is the interior cam. It provides a rear-facing camera with a 160-degree angle, making it a must-have for parents watching kids in the back, ride share drivers, or just peace of mind to be alerted to any situation that may happen behind you. The rear camera add-on will have a resolution of HD 720p infrared night vision at 25-30 fps.

With the Nexar dashcam system, unlimited cloud storage and storage on the device to up to 256 GB memory card (64 GB included) exist. Using the app to find stored videos is simple, with a user-friendly dashboard.

In a short time, it’s easy to see the value of the Nexar One dashcam. The features show how far the technology has come to create a second set of eyes for safety. $299.95 on the Nexar site with coupon code TheOne


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