U.S. consumers can get souped up in-vehicle dash cams - KCTV5

U.S. consumers can get souped up in-vehicle dash cams

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Garmin device Garmin device

Dash cams are standard in patrol cars, and now you can buy a tricked out one to mount in your vehicle.

Dash cams in recent months have captured meteor showers and even a U.S. cargo plane crashing in Afghanistan. They are part of every day life for crime fighters. Dash cams are de rigueur in Russia due to widespread insurance fraud, and crazy moments have been caught on dash cams there.

Olathe-based Garmin unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week a high-definition camera that mounts on a vehicle's windshield and takes wide-angle shots of the road ahead. The camera is activated by a car's engine and takes shoot in 1080p, 720p or WVGA. The footage is displayed on a 2.3-inch LCD screen. There is 4GB of internal storage and a built-in microphone.

You can roll away during your own National Lampoon's Vacation. But the cameras will also capture more than the strange and odd road trip.

A built-in sensor means the camera detects sudden braking or a collision, and will automatically save recordings, time stamps, GPS locations, speeds and more.

Weston Owen, spokesman for Garmin, said the company expects demand for the product.

"Distracted driving is such a big piece right now," he said. "If someone was on the receiving end of that, they would have the information, the video, they would have all of the log information for documentation purposes."

Police are going to be watching closely to see if dash cams purchased by consumers change accident investigations in the future.

You can buy starting in February the basic camera for $219.99 or a GPS-equipped model for $249.99. The camera is small enough to fit in the palm of a hand.

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