A former Apple engineer who worked on the first iPhone is making a super-smart camera for your car - here's how it works
- A former Apple executive who worked on the iPod and Dropcam has a new startup making a super-smart dashboard camera.
- The company and camera are called Owl, and the camera comes with a built-in LTE connection so it can alert you to fender benders and break-ins even when you're not in your car or it's not turned on.
- The company has raised $18 million in venture funding from firms including defy.vc, Khosla Ventures, and Menlo Ventures.
People in Silicon Valley often spend a lot of time driving. It's just what you have to do if you work in tech at a big company.
Perhaps that's why one of the most interesting new car gadgets is coming from a Palo Alto startup led by former Apple and Microsoft engineers.
Owl is a new kind of car camera that combines both a dashcam and a camera pointed into the interior of the car. But unlike cheap dashcams, Owl has a cellular LTE connection and can store 24 hours of video - it's a real computer, which allows it to provide a much slicker user interface than saving recorded video on a removable SD card, which is how most dashcams store video.
It's the first product out of Owl, a startup co-founded by CEO Andy Hodge, who worked on the iPod at Apple back in the Steve Jobs era. More recently, he spent some time at Microsoft and then Dropcam, the camera startup that was bought by Google. It was at Dropcam where he realized how important video cameras are, and his experience there are why he decided to start Owl, he told Business Insider in an interview.
The Owl camera is a security camera for your car, but it also can be used to share fun clips to social media, Hodge said, including "Carpool Karaoke"-style moments happening inside the vehicle.
The Owl is currently on sale for $349, which includes a year of LTE service, which will eventually cost $10 per month.
Here's how it works:
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