SXSW 2015: hands-on and interview with LyfeLens

LyfeLens just launched this week at SXSW 2015 and I got the opportunity to go hands-on with an early prototype and interview Allen Stone, the company’s CEO.

The device is a $199 connected car accessory shipping this fall that looks a lot like a prop from a Star Trek movie. It mounts on the windshield with a suction cup, and provides the following functionality:

  • Dual wide-angle cameras: one pointed outside the car, another looking inside, for full coverage.
  • Dashcam: provides standard dashcam features. Records video/audio from both cameras onto a microSD card and streams video/audio to the cloud.
  • Security camera: records video/audio from both cameras onto a microSD card and streams video/audio to the cloud when motion/shock/noise/speeding is detected. Also alerts the user via the LyfeLens app.
  • GPS tracking: records car location while driving and when parked, and when motion/shock/noise/speeding is detected. Also shows the car’s position on the LyfeLens app.
  • WiFi hotspot: provides 4G/LTE connectivity to WiFi devices inside the car.
  • Battery powered: charges while driving, sleeps until motion/shock/noise/speeding is detected.

LyfeLens features two 1080p wide-angle cameras (front and back), a mini-USB power connector, a microSD card reader (up to 128GB), a SIM slot, microphones, accelerometers, a Li-ion battery, a GPS receiver, and a suite of radios (4G/LTE, WiFi b/g/n, and Bluetooth 4.0LE).

It will come with a free iOS and Android app to plus receive push notifications and monitor the device’s location and live video/audio feed. A subscription service will provide cloud storage for the video/audio stream and 4G/LTE connectivity.

LyfeLens did not share information about the pricing of its subscription service or about its launch partners, but did mention that it’s in talks with several carriers and car manufacturers.

The device I saw here in Austin was a cosmetic prototype and was not functional, but I think the product idea is sound. I’m hoping to get a review unit once production ramps up, so stay tuned for more.

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