Thinkware reveals a bunch of cool cameras at CES 2019

Vortex Radar

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At CES, Thinkware just revealed a bunch of cool dashcams they’re working on including a 4 channel system, 4K dashcam, and an IoT connected dashcam. Check it out:

 

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Awesome, and thanks for the sharing!
How to manage wire route for a 4 channel system?
 

kamkar1

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Sweet.
BUT ! there are no talking about bitrates, which i in general find important, even more so on the sports model.

Yeah the 4 channel model will require some bodywork on the car too for the side cameras, which by me are fine but a lot of people will require technical help here with the install.
The main unit looked good though, i would personally take a bit larger screen , and if the screen like the cameras was remote on 1 wire that would be good as you could mount it on the back of a sun shade, otherwise i have a problem seeing it for use in day to day driving as it will be problematic to find a good place to install it and route all the wires there.
And i would prefer the screen was detachable or hidden so it don't attract thieves, i would mount it on the passenger side sunshade as the drive side one i don't use as they have always annoyed no matter how much low sun there is.
As parrot was on to sort of, this would be soooooooo much better if it was all integrated in a 2 DIN headunit.

Not a fan of the cameras pointing out rear like that, the rear camera should pretty much have that covered, i would prefer my side cameras to be at or close to a 90 degree angle.
 

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I saw your video today Vortex, thanks for making and sharing it, great info on what's coming out.

I like the idea of a 4Ch system, but I'd like to see an option where the side camera units were made for inside the vehicle mounting preferably looking a slight bit forward from the rear of the vehicle (like kamkar1 mentioned, 90 degree with maybe a slight bit bias to the front since they'd be mounted more towards the rear of the vehicle).

Harder to mount them in a sedan (though blackboxmycar managed to do 2 2ch system mounted in a Tesla model S mounting them the way I mentioned above) but in SUV's or station wagons, it'd be pretty easy to mount them on the cargo area side glass.
 

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since they'd be mounted more towards the rear of the vehicle).
I've always wanted them at the front so that when pulling out of a side road they can see both directions along the road I'm joining and the rear camera can see back down the road I'm leaving - complete coverage of all the other vehicles.
 

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Cars seem to have more fixed side facing glass at the rear of the car than at the front, although that's not always the case. I'd prefer my side cameras to be mounted near the front but I don't really have anywhere to put them.
 

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For a 4CH system, do you think 4 remote lens is also good option?
 

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For a 4CH system, do you think 4 remote lens is also good option?
4 separate cables (three remote cameras + power) coming out of the front windscreen mounted unit might be a bit too much!

However a single cable that splits into 4 when it reaches the roof might be OK? And might be better than having to hide the DVR unit and run all the cables to the hiding place, which can't be in the roof because you need access to the memory card.

The big problem is mounting the side cameras so that they can see but don't cause problems with opening windows, opening doors, airbags etc.

I'm not sure that many people will bother with 4 because of all the installation problems, Front + rear + interior is probably enough for most people, especially if the interior has a 360 view so that it covers the sides, even if only in low resolution, don't need to read plates with the side cameras.
 

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I like my side-cams as they make for about a 240 degree view in front though with my van's length the rear quarters are not covered. I've often thought that a good system solution for most cars would be a normal front cam with a module mounted at the center dome light which adds side and rear coverage in one unit. All the cabling run over the headliner would make a clean install, and in most cars it wouldn't need to protrude downward much past the existing dome light. Cars with a sunroof could mount it at the rear edge of that, and aimable cams could tailor the coverage to where you want it. You'd still have the roof pillars blocking some of the views, but that wouldn't be too bad overall. Or just have 4 cams mounted there.

One of the ongoing problems with multi-channel cams is the bitrate limitations of the processors in use. 4 cams on one processor would be a dud, like going back to 480P. But with two housings you've now got room for two processors (or more) so theoretically you could have the best single-cam performance we can get today on all the cams, or at least as good as the 2-channel cams give us now.

Concept gadgets do not impress me much, for they are meaningless until produced. And many of them don't meet expectations when they are produced. Easy to make a flawless display but let's see it working in the real world under all conditions. So nice vid and thanks for it, but whatever- I'm not yet impressed.

Phil
 

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Too many ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
4 x 1080p is doable now, the chipsets are here already, that said it's only concept stuff, they're fishing for interest to see what they should do next
 

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But what of bitrate and FPS? Those matter in image quality. Then there's the SD card- how much can it handle and what type would you need? I think there's some market out there for a decent 4-channel if it performs well at a good price. But most are quite happy with 2-channel cams.

Phil
 

jokiin

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Too many ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
But what of bitrate and FPS? Those matter in image quality. Then there's the SD card- how much can it handle and what type would you need? I think there's some market out there for a decent 4-channel if it performs well at a good price. But most are quite happy with 2-channel cams.

Phil
can do the same quality as current 2 channel, memory cards are a consideration of sorts, no problem if you stick with good quality cards, the bigger issue is finding a workable side camera solution, too much variation and too labour intensive for aftermarket systems, would be much easier to do as an OEM fitout, I can't see 4 channel being a mass market option, very small niche DIY market
 

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As jokiin said 4 X 1080/ 30 at a decent bitrate ( 20 mbit or so ) are no problem with some current hardware, the only stumble block are what such a system will cost to make/sell and how many people are willing to pay that.
My little car have fixed glass in all 4 side doors, but other than that nothing, so this will make installing 2 side cameras on my rear doors a bit tricky as i will have to route cables thru existing rubber grommets alongside the speaker cable that i assume are the only electric in my rear doors.
My next side cameras will not be a 30 minutes install for sure, a lot of plastic have to be torn out, some i have not touched since i put in my old analog 4 channel system back in 2013.
 

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Lets hope we get dual systems ( and we do ) that can be used as side cameras with a little good will, i am sure the people looking for that are willing to go the extra mile.
But yeah 4 channel systems will be a hard sell.
Makers just have in mind the cable coming off such little remote cameras are at a angle that will mean it can be used as a side camera, you cant just have a mini usb plug come strait out of the camera housing, need to be at a angle if on the back of camera.
 

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If dual systems had some form on interconnect so you could pair them and have their footage 100% in sync that would be awesome, but i am not sure how easy and cheap that can be done.
The downside are you have two locations to go for retrieving footage, but i will take that any day after have been going to 4 or more locations for years to get footage.
 
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Nigel

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Concept gadgets do not impress me much...
This is the ideal position for my side cameras - the glass dome in the centre of the bonnet, it has a great view in front and to the sides, can see down the road both ways when pulling out of a side road, doesn't suffer reflections of the dash off the windscreen. Front and side views are all in one unit so only needs one cable installed, it could even record a cabin view if its rear sensor had a CPL...

 

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