Last week, caught in a huge traffic snarl because of a political agitation, my driver could not make it in time to office to pick me. It was well past my regular time and I was still in office. However, not once did I call my driver to check where he was. That is because I could see on the map exactly where he was stuck and that the traffic in front of him was all clogged up.
The Kent CamEye system helps you keep a track of your car, log all trips with the route and speed, see who is in the car and what is in front all through out the trip or even when it is not on the move. That is not all, this new gadget, also lets you communicate with whoever is driving and gives you alerts in case of over speeding or forced entry.
When I got the initial request for review, my first reaction was to dismiss this as a regular dash cam. However, as I read on, I noticed a few interesting features and called in a unit for review.
It took no more than five minutes to configure the device and link it to the Kent CamEye app on my phone; and even less than that to set it up in the car. At first look, the CamEye looks like a vintage camera as there is no distracting LCD at the back, which is good.
The device connects to your phone via mobile as it has a 4G SIM of its own. It has battery backup and I could turn it on in the dead of the night to see what was happening around my car.
The app is key to this device. It lists trips like you see in the Uber app and highlights if the car is now on a trip or parked. Once you tap a trip, or a parked location, you can see everything from battery on the device, temperature inside the car and the mobile connectivity. A deep dive pins the car on a live map, gives access to analytics of the car for the past week, fortnight or month with interesting details like engine idle time and average speed and total run time.
The only issue with the data is that some time the cards take a while to update. As I write, I have driven my car back to my society and it is parked here. But the app shows it is still parked in Khan Market where I had gone for lunch earlier. But this is a rarity.
The camera can be accessed via the app whatever the status of the car and shows what is ahead of the car and who is driving. In fact, you can activate face recognition with regular drivers of the vehicle, so that you get an alert when someone else is at the wheels. The videos and snapshots are saved to cloud by default, at least when there is good connectivity, but you can download it to your phone when needed.
The Kent CamEye will be available only on Amazon and is priced Rs 17,500 plus an annual subscription of Rs 6,000 for accessing the cloud services. Based on my experience lasting the past fortnight, the Kent CamEye seems like a good investment for those who are in a chauffeur driven environment where you need to keep a tab on the location of the car and safety of its occupants.
It is also a good option for those who are paranoid about driving on Indian roads and might prefer documentary evidence if something goes wrong. Anyway, you need a good reason to buy this, as it does not come cheap by any count.