Keeping a watch
16th Jan 2018 8:00 am
Perseus talks about how far camera technology has come and its various uses in the automobile arena.
I remember getting my first digital camera with a 16MB memory stick. I carried it everywhere in my backpack and tried to shoot every moment. Although, I do admit, I spent most of my time photographing exotic cars in Mumbai.
Today, digital cameras have become an indispensable part of our lives. In fact, a phone without a camera can’t be called a smartphone. Even the Mumbai Police is now extensively using cameras to issue e-challans to traffic offenders. The best thing I like about digital imaging is how the technology has been integrated into cars.
I’ve been lucky enough to have driven cars that were built as far back as in the 1930s, as well those from every generation between then and now, and have been fascinated by the evolution of features on automobiles. Over the past couple of years though, cameras and screens have evolved by leaps and bounds, and simple reversing cameras that were once exclusive to luxury cars are now standard fitment even in regular hatchbacks. I particularly like the new 360-degree parking cameras on modern luxury cars as they let you park a large car in the tightest spaces without the need for additional eyes on the car. Even off-roading, gizmos like Land Rover’s Surround Camera are a huge help.
Cars today are getting safer, and safety norms increasingly stringent. One safety gadget that has caught my attention lately is the dash camera. Not just the high-end cameras or gyrocams that are popular with bikers, racers and adventurers, but regular driving recorders that can provide useful footage in case of a mishap, especially when you are not at fault. Some car manufacturers like BMW even have provisions to integrate high-end cameras like GoPros in their iDrive systems and these cameras do work well as dash cameras even during night driving. However, a low-cost camera that can be bought on Amazon for as little as Rs 3,000 can be a particularly useful accessory to invest in as well. Some even have a park mode recording function that can potentially prevent a shy face from pinching your hood ornament.
My favourite use of cameras is to monitor my cars when parked and covered. Though all my parking spaces are already installed with CCTV cameras and my cars barricaded, I plan on installing units that allow me to monitor my parking spaces remotely on my phone. Imagine being on a beach in Goa and monitoring your car parks on your phone remotely. Awesome! The drawback though is that I hope I do not end up staring into the screen more than soaking up the sun, sand and the beach.