Unless you’re a horrendous driver, a dash cam is one of the best car-focused gadgets you can get. It can have your back if you’re involved in a car accident and it isn’t your fault, help keep your car safe from thieves, and if you drive people places for a living — protect you from nefarious passengers. On the lower end, a dash cam for your car will set you back a couple of hundred bucks. But its features will be quite limited. Higher-end models cost several hundred dollars, but are far more practical. One of the most anticipated dash cams of the last few years, the Nextbase iQ, has just launched and comes with one standout feature that could save your life.
You may be aware that some Samsung devices along with iPhones and Apple Watches have a similar feature, but the iQ does have a bit of an advantage over Apple’s methods. Apple’s products are somewhat prone to false alarms, as riding a rollercoaster or similarly vigorous activities can trick the software into thinking you’ve been in an accident. As a result, you have to confirm if you’ve been in an accident, or otherwise wait for the notification to time out, until you’re put in touch with the emergency services. This could waste vital time if you end up in a serious condition.
The Nextbase dash cam lives in your car, so it doesn’t have this problem. If it flags something as a serious crash, then it’s almost certain to be a serious crash, and the emergency services will automatically be dispatched to your current location. Nextbase uses artifical intelligence to deduce whether you’ve actually been in a car crash and the company has worked with authorities to ensure false positives happen rarely, if ever.
There are other advanced, artificial-intelligence-powered features on the iQ that should help keep both the vehicle and its owner safe. This includes an interior car camera, notifications when someone approaches or lingers around the vehicle, and an alert when the vehicle is parked or started.
More is planned further down the road. Nextbase describes the iQ as an “evergreen product” and plans to release some of its best features as time goes on. Many of these features will be part of a paid subscription plan, but will work on the dash camera’s current hardware.
The ones to look out for are “push to talk,” which will allow anyone with the app to talk directly through the dash cam itself. This could be used to have a conversation with whoever’s driving, help them out in a traffic stop, or scare off potential thieves. Vehicle Aware and Driver Aware will include features similar to the lane assist function many modern cars have. For the concerned parents reading this, “Guardian Mode” also promises to send push notifications when certain things happen, such as the car starts speeding, the driver is behaving erratically, or certain GPS boundaries are crossed.
Nextbase is also negotiating with insurance companies in hopes of landing its users a hefty discount. This should offset the cost, which is on the high end for a dash cam. The 1080p video version of the camera starts at just under $500, with the 2K and 4K variants costing $599 and $699, respectively. You can use the camera for free with limited functionality, but to get the most out of it, you’ll need the “Protect” plan priced at $9.99 per month, or “Protect Plus,” which costs $19.99 per month — though both plans are discounted if you pay annually. Despite the cost, this may be the best dash cam on the market. So it’s certainly something to consider.
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