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Startup Owl Is Taking Dashcams To The Next Level With Voice Control, LTE Connectivity

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CES 2017: Voice control and AI to become major trends in household electronics

Startup firm Owl has launched a new dashcam that not only records footages but also doubles as a trusty security device with built-in LTE connectivity and voice control.

In fact, Owl is selling its product as the first fully functional security camera that offers security protection in a number of possible scenarios. When installed on a car windshield, the Owl camera functions as the driver's third eye that is always on the watch and ready to record crucial moments or even fend off would-be thieves.

The device never blinks, and users will have access to the dashcam 24/7 when paired with their mobile phones, a feature that applies both for iOS and Android handsets.

"Owl never turns itself off, never goes to sleep, and never needs a bathroom break. It's always on, always on the lookout, whether you're driving or not," the Silicon Valley startup said on its official site.

How Owl Works

When in use, the Owl camera taps into the car's battery to ensure that it remains active all day and all night and even when the car engine is not running. According to its maker, the dashcam has a feature that prevents it from extracting excessive power juice, which also serves as the protection against battery drain.

The unit's centerpiece technology is the combo of accelerometer and sound detection that permits Owl to recognize shocks and bumps, which will then set off an automatic recording of up to 30-second video clip. Thanks to the always-on LTE connection, users can immediately watch the recorded footage even if they're away from the vehicle.

The same features will allow for remote monitoring of the car, as the dashcam provides for interior and exterior video coverages, courtesy of Owl's dual-camera system that shoots 1440p clips from the inside and 720p videos from the outside.

The Owl camera also packs a dual-microphone setup that enables the unit's voice command feature. With this, drivers wanting to record a clip can simply say "OK Presto," and Owl will start saving a 20-second video that can be reviewed later and then shared on social media sites.

Owl Release Date And Pricing

Owl said the dashcam is ready to ship at the start of February, and those planning to buy will need to pay up $350 upfront. Out of the box, the camera unit is bundled with LTE coverage that will last 12 months. As a standalone purchase, the Owl camera sticker price is set at $300 plus additional fee of $10 per month for the network connection.

There is little argument that the Owl asking price is a bit of a turnoff, which is something that could prod drivers to just look elsewhere for more affordable alternatives. Provided, however, that the Owl camera lives up to its packaging as a mobile security system, then the cash setback of owning the device could be justified.

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