GPS Helmet Camera

By STEPHEN REGENOLD

In the “I-didn’t-know-we-needed-that” category this month, Contour Inc. of Seattle has unveiled the world’s first GPS-enabled helmet camera. The 1080p video camera, called the ContourGPS, comes with a GPS built in to capture and record your location once per second while on the move. It is touted as ushering in a “new era of location-based video.”

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Screen shot: ContourGPS footage and GPS track

At the same time, the company (www.contour.com) is launching a new part of its web site where ContourGPS users can upload videos, share stories, and track their recorded adventures on a map. The company touts the entire process as something like combining an easy-to-use video camera with YouTube and Google maps.

I have been testing the company’s current, non-GPS-enabled camera this summer, the $279.99 ContourHD model. It is a solid product, including a wide-angle lens and full-HD recording. You site in your shot with an embedded laser on the lens, and then you record footage with the simple slide of a button on top.

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ContourGPS helmet camera

In my tests, the ContourHD camera, mounted on a climbing or bike helmet, has rarely let me down. The new ContourGPS, which costs $349.99, is a similar unit, though with the GPS receiver added in.

ContourGPS users record their video footage and the GPS data is captured automatically. With the online interface, you edit the video and the GPS data is presented to show your location on a map, reveal speed of travel, elevation change, time, and other attributes.

The ContourGPS ships this month. See a demo of the video-GPS experience here: www.contour.com/videoplayer

—Stephen Regenold is founder and editor of www.gearjunkie.com.

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