Rideye, the Cyclist’s Black Box Video Camera

November 16th, 2013

Drop bar front

I am fortunate to live in a city (Canberra, Australia) that has good off-road cycle paths. I can get from A to B without interacting with cars, for the most part. But even here, I still occasionally need to ride on the roads, and when I do, I am exposed to car-centric road design, and impatient, intolerant and downright aggressive car drivers.

Every week when I ride, I have close calls with car drivers. Sometimes the car driver is just driving stupidly, sometimes they seem to be actively homicidal. They overtake too close, or when there is oncoming traffic. They overtake and then immediately hook-turn in front of me. They overtake around one-lane roundabouts. They do not give way at stop signs or intersections, because I’m “just a bike”. Sometimes they seem to deliberately swerve to hit me.

When these interactions happen, all I can do is shout a warning, or abuse, and shake my fist in pointless frustration.

I used to ride with two bike-mounted GoPro cameras, one on my handlebar facing forward and one on my seatpost facing back. At the end of each ride, I need to remove the cameras, recharge the batteries, and wipe the SD memory cards so that they are ready for my next ride. Sometimes I have forgotten to recharge and the batteries are dead, or I have forgotten to wipe the SD cards, so there is no memory left to record. Sometimes I’m just lazy and don’t mount the cameras, and I miss a critical clip. The GoPros are good, but they are expensive, heavy, and so fiddly to charge, wipe and re-mount that I often just don’t bother to use them.

Rideye will change all that. Rideye is a Kickstarter-backed project that makes the whole process of bicycle video much more simple and therefore much more doable.

Rideye camer on handlebars

Rideye is a tiny HD video camera that attaches to your handlebars, your helmet or your seatpost. They are light-weight, waterproof, self-contained, have crash-detection sensors, and promise to make the process of recording rides a one-touch affair.

The Rideye cameras record on a continuous loop. There is no memory card to install. All you need to do is press a button and recording starts. If the memory is full, it automatically records over the oldest video, so you never need to manually wipe the memory. It has crash-detection sensors, so it will automatically save the video clip around the time of a crash. You can also choose to save any video even without a crash being detected.

One-touch record Rideye

The Rideye battery promises to last an entire month of rides, at 1 hour per day.

Rideye Rear Mount

The Specs are impressive:

  • HD video at 1280 x 720, good enough to detect licence plates
  • audio recording
  • 120 degree wide angle view
  • triple axis accelerometer for crash detection
  • one-touch start and saving of video clips
  • Lithium ion battery lasts 24 hours
  • 8GB memory for 2.5 hours continuous HD recording
  • CNC machined aluminium
  • 185 grams – smaller and lighter than most bike lights
  • USB charging and video downloading

Charging

The Kickstarter campaign is finished, but Rideye is expected to be available in March 2014, for $149 each including mounting hardware from Rideye.com.

Why ride with a bicycle camera?

Apart from getting high quality video of your favourite rides, you will be empowered in the often unbalanced relationship between cars and bicycles. You will have hard video evidence that you can bring to bear should it become a legal dispute.

More importantly, these cameras have the power to change car drivers’ behaviour. If drivers are aware that many or most bikes are riding with cameras and that they are being recorded, their driving behaviour will improv, making the roads safer for all of us.

Entry Filed under: Bicycle Cameras


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