IPhone Cop-cam


[Tim] wanted to make some recordings of himself driving similar to those made by the dashboard cameras on police cars.  In a simple two step hack (1. Measure, 2. Drill), he altered his iPhone windshield mount so that it didn’t block the lens of the camera. We will admit (sheepishly) that at first glance we thought this might be connected to the outside of the windshield but it’s not. Take a look at his drive to work after the break.


46 thoughts on “IPhone Cop-cam

  1. Verry usefull as a camera that iphone.
    How many times did you had to do the drive without someone calling you?
    I too hate that multitask problem it has.
    is it possible to tilt it down more?
    That’s a lot of air and feww license plate’s.

    and ow First!
    (first first post ever)

  2. Wow, I should submit my “hack!” I used a hole puncher to make the mic and earpiece openings larger on my phone pouch….

    While the cool factor is certainly there, I just don’t consider basic drill usage hacking.

  3. Mike,
    You are really a hit or miss poster. Some of your posts are great. Others (like this one) not so much. I think you’ve got a good eye for innovation, but you should incorporate a simplicity check for your articles before you publish.

  4. That looks like the dumbest place to mount it, how much of his view is blocked. Try telling the cops its a dash cam and your not watching videos, surfing the web, playing with the latest app on your way to work.
    And why is it pointing at the sky?

  5. I don’t understand the flames. It costs you nothing for someone to post this stuff on this site, so why cry?

    I for one sometimes think simple ideas are great, not because someone demonstrated they could re-purpose a hands free kit using a drill, but because these may generate follow-on ideas.

    Not only that, but we have no idea who reads this site, kids might use this site for ideas for simple projects.

    Allow me to demonstrate the former point I made about generating new ideas.

    I want 2-4 cameras in my car recording to a hard drive, covering the four sides, or front and back at a minimum.

    I was considering buying some of those tiny “spy” cams and putting the rest of the kit together using an old laptop.

    Instead, based on what I have seen here, I may consider using mobile phones (I get a new one each year and therefore have about 6 Nokias gathering dust).

    I had already over engineered a solution in my head, but some ‘back to basics’ hacking has helped me realise I already have all the components I need.

    I can’t say that I disagree with the fact he is filming mostly sky, which does suck :)

    I must say I enjoy hackaday.com, if nothing more than for the random stuff that gets posted, it can’t all be arduinos and cyborgs.

    Take it easy fellas, I can see the veins popping out of your necks.

  6. awesome,now DRILLING A SINGLE HOLE in a piece of plastic is a hack.

    seriously guys? i mean wtf,REALLY ????? did you guys make some kind of bet with someone to see how completely lame and worthless you could make the site ?????

  7. @Rivetgeek i thought that building at the beginning looked familiar! the courthouse or police station or whatever it is…

    by the way this is not worthy as a hack for the site. but you have to think — this post has “iphone” in it, so you KNOW its generating more traffic… and that means cold hard advertising duckets for hackaday!

  8. You people that come on here and bitch are pathetic.

    This website cost you nothing to visit, and you give nothing back to the website in any form.

    A hack is a hack no matter what you do to modify it, to do something it wasn’t intended to do.

    Any hack is a good hack no matter how easy it is.

    And software posted here can be hacked also.

    So get off the bitchfest and contribute to this wonderful website.

    Its time to flush these Trolls out of here and make people register an account. Or better yet pay to comment.

  9. To do:
    1. Mount camera so that it points at traffic and not at the sky.
    2. Write program that uses the phone’s GPS to record speed, location and compass data while recording the video.
    3. …
    4. Profit!

  10. thats the way the americans have learned to deal with critic: branding people with unpatriotic behaviour. hey come on this post is not a hack, its a mod, the 8 bit counter post was a joke, the twitter thingie…

    hey and instead of calling us trolls, why is there no official statement from had crew? comments are getting worse and more cynic every day.
    first we laughed a bit about the arduinoish way of hacking which eventually became a running gag. but things dont get better.
    in the last couple of weeks two authors left the (sinking?) ship.

    not only that the quality goes down (why not a single post if there is not enough material for 5 ones?), there are NO WRITEUPS anymore. hey remember the posts oh ian? they were really long and packed with tons of information, really deep stuff. and now? no information really just a quick teaser.

    hackaday you are so much better than that!
    at least do it for the kids

  11. Even a hack with just one drill hole is a hack. Not everything has to be complicated and difficult, this kind of thing is easily accessible to a lot of people. Not everyone has the time to spend on hardcore hacks with a lot of soldering. Hacking’s about building something or modifying something to do something that it either wasn’t supposed to before hand or there wasn’t anything that could do what you wanted on the market.

    If it only takes one go with a drill to do what you want then bingo, a cheap easy hack.

  12. admittedly i didn’t read all of the posts as there were a lot of them but if you did this with some augmented reality it would be a cool “hack” gps/business info/etc as you were driving around. i’m sure the actual cops wish they had it to run tags whenever the camera picked one up ;)

  13. Interesting – it looks like the traffic lights at the RH of screen (@ 26 secs) are PWM controlled, but others om the route are not (that I could see).
    Flickering – the PWM frequency aliasing with the scan rate of the iPhone camera.
    I wonder if there is something we can use that as more lights go to PWM

  14. Ya know, I couldn’t hear My GZ-one phone ring when it was on the hip clip, so I drilled a series of holes on the clip at the speaker, choosing the size and placement is crucial so as not to compromise the integrity of the clip. It’s not something you might think important, and most of you would probably reply “Well DUH” but getting ANYTHING right the First go around deserves recognition.

    Good job, good mod

  15. Wow … brutal crowd.

    People were “hacking” long before the term was coined. Just because this is created from a tennis ball, an arduino and three pringle cans doesn’t disqualify it as a hack.

    We self-declared hackers should embrace all manners of hacking. I think it is great when someone uses things in ways they were not originally designed to be used.

    There is WAY to little thinking on the part of people today. most people would sit on their fat butts and say “I wish someone would invent a mount so I could use my iPhone as a dash cam …” then they go back to watching American Idol.

    I am thankful for the submission and invite any and all manners of hacks. I may not find the hack immediately useful, but I may need that piece of knowledge one day.

    You should offer some constructive criticism and help build the community.

    Just my $0.02

  16. Normally I’m not with the hating-things-that-aren’t-hackaday-worthy crowd, but this and a few other recent posts are waaaay below the bar. Simple rule maybe, if it doesn’t involve a soldering iron and/or a bit of coding, it ain’t a hack worthy of this site.

  17. I just put my camera on the dashboard! PWN3D!

    Seriously though, you guys are too harsh. For the Macolytes, drilling their own hole (and transfering measurements!!1!) really is 1337 H4X0Ring.

  18. Not super sophisticated, but a nice trick nonetheless. Half you haters are drilling your winshield mounts right now.

    Hey, simple hacks rule. The simpler and the easier, the better. You don’t need an arduino for everything!

  19. For all the negativity here – I’d like to point out my earlier post – which embodies the essence of ‘hacking’ in it’s truest form. Observing the traffic lights flickering (aliasing) with the cameras scan rate is a simple observation that may lead to better understanding or exploitaiton of that anomaly. Simple. Hacks don’t have to be something whizz-bang successful in themselves, but the unique observation or extrapolation of a fact that allows us to get more from something than was originally intended. Also simple. But perhaps too complicated for the wannabe doomsayers out there to keep up with.

  20. Hacking is making something do what it wasn’t designed to do. It doesn’t need electronics or programming.. This is still a hack.

    There is also nothing wrong with the camera angle, it captures the traffic lights perfectly. Very useful to prove you didn’t run that red light on your way to work.

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