Photo: Mark W. Clark
Recently I was lucky enough to get to put the new Eye of Mine Eye-View 720HD camera sunglasses through their paces. These glasses come with interchangeable clear and polarized grey lenses that have a high-definition video camera built into the bridge of the nose.
The overall design was very well done. The glasses look almost identical to my regular sport sunglasses and fit comfortably. The construction feels solid and they have a matte black, rubberized finish. They're not heavy or overly bulky and, most importantly to cops, it isn't glaringly obvious there's a camera in them. The company's done a nice job of hiding a lot of technology in a small package.
Now down to the nuts and bolts. The company claims the camera's battery life to be two hours and I don’t dispute that. I was evidently too eager to download my footage and never let it run down that far. There's a removable Micro SD card to record video footage, and the glasses include a USB cable to both download video to a computer (viewable with QuickTime) and recharge the battery. Since most computers, including laptops in patrol cars, have this free application there is no complicated, proprietary program to install. This makes using these glasses about as easy as using a USB thumb drive. I give them a big thumbs up.
Operating the Eye-View's camera is quite easy; there's one large silver button on the right side that begins and ends recording and each segment is saved as a separate file with a date and time stamp, much like a voice recorder. There's also a small blue light on the inside of the frames that tells you when recording is in progress. This is nice but requires the user to take the glasses off to see the light and verify the camera is actively recording. And in a police environment, most times we would prefer not to give away the fact that we’re recording. A quiet but audible tone would be better.
The video itself is excellent and since the camera moves with the wearer's head, the viewpoint is almost always ideal. This isn't the case with most clip-on or uniform-mounted cameras. I wore the Eye-View glasses on duty and took them to the shooting range to record some training, and in both environments they did well.
The camera has built-in stabilization technology that prevents the image from jarring as the camera moves. The Eye-View also records audio, although the glasses have to be somewhat close to the source for the internal microphone to pick it up. For interviews and close quarters this is more than adequate.
Overall I'm a fan of the Eye-View 720HD and would recommend these glasses to anyone wanting a convenient way to record good quality video on the move.
Eye of Mine Eye-View 720HD Camera Sunglasses Specs:
Lenses: Polarized, extra pair of clear lenses, camo version also includes yellow lenses
Frames per Second: 30
Storage: 1 hour on 3.1GB, 5 hours on 15.5GB, use up to 32GB micro SD card
Battery: Built-in USB 2-hour 500mAh battery
Angle of View: 135 degrees
Audio: PCM mono 32khz, 512kbps
Working Temperature: 23F to 104F
Compatibility: Connects to Mac or PC
Warranty: 1 year
Accessories Included: Carrying case, cloth, USB cable, AC adapter, clear lenses
Price: $199 for kit without micro SD card; camouflage kits start at $249
A.J. George is a motor officer and firearms instructor for the Scottsdale (Ariz.) Police Department.
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