If you've ever tried to use your phone as a dashcam, you're well aware it can be tricky. There are a decent number of apps out there for turning your smartphone into a full-on dash camera, some of which are a bit more feature rich than others, but for the most part, they all fall short of the real deal. Greenlight, a startup headed by industry veterans, just announced the first complete system to convert a smartphone into a dashcam in no time flat, which boasts almost all of the features of standalone dashcams that cost thousands of dollars.
Greenlight's system, called the SmartCradle, consists of three parts; the cradle itself, a special button that performs certain functions in conjunction with the rest of the system, and an app called Dashware that serves as the brains of the operation. The SmartCradle installs fairly painlessly, boasting a powerful 3M suction cup that allows the cradle to install quickly, hold weighty devices steadfast with no trouble, and boast reusability, unlike adhesive-based solutions. Once installed, the SmartCradle can be adjusted to fit your phone, as well as operate in both landscape and portrait modes. The included power cable, your choice of cigarette lighter or USB, comes through the bottom, but the rig is adaptable enough to plug in most phones. Once it's all set up, simply slot in the phone to launch the Dashware app and off you go.
The Dashware app, once started up, automatically records and deletes small segments of uneventful video to minimize space and maximize coverage. If you use the aforementioned button to keep a recent recording manually or a recording is kept automatically by the app detecting a crash, the video can be managed on your device like any other video file. According to the press release, the app also boasts compatibility with cloud services for automatic backing up and managing of video files, though none are named specifically aside from Dropbox. Finally, the app is always collecting anonymous driving data to better detect accidents, though features are in the works to help drivers improve their driving skills based on collected data. The whole kit is currently up for preorder for $49, due to ship in September of 2016.