Now you can capture random moments of craziness or novelty happening while you’re driving with this new in-car camera / rearview mirror from Hamwha. It looks more or less like a normal rearview mirror but has an internal camera pointing forward to record what’s happening in front of your vehicle. Unlike other in-car recorders that you attach to the windshield, the advantage of this rearview mirror is that it doesn’t obstruct your view. It activates automatically when you turn on the engine, and automatically starts overwriting the old footage in a continuous loop so that you don’t have to worry about replacing the storage media when it’s full and missing out on something.
The right side of the mirror consists of a LCD display that can show what’s being recorded currently or play back what’s already been recorded. To make it even more nifty (and practical), the device includes a GPS and accelerometer, so that along with your video footage, data on your location and motion also gets recorded. Considering legal aspects, it might be really handy to know (i.e., be able to show evidence of) how fast you were driving at the time of a particular event on your video. The camera’s lens is made to function well in low light (e.g., night time), and captures up to a 92-degree peripheral. A 2 GB SD card should record about 130 minutes of video, and power is supplied from your car’s cigarette lighter. (Figuring out how to get your clip on to Youtube is up to you however.) According to the Umazon product page, video by this camera is recorded at 25 frames per second and is 640 by 480 resolution.
This recorder/mirror is available only through Hamwha’s online store, Umazone (the model number is UMA-RMDR02), and costs 14,900 JPY (currently 190 USD). A quick glance around the internet shows prices for similar combination recorder / mirrors ranging from $199 – $2895 (US).