The whole setup will become available in July for all BMW and MINI models released in 2012 and beyond and come equipped with either the BMW App or MINI Connected feature. Both can be used via an Apple iPhone, but they need to be connected to the vehicle itself first. iPhone owners will also be able to download the new Mini Connected app from the Apple App store for free starting this month.
As for the setup’s functionalities, it will allow drivers to record videos or take photographs, with the ability to mount the GoPro camera either outside or inside the car. It’s nothing new under the sun, but the ease of use should make the process simpler than before. According to BMW, “this groundbreaking integration is designed specifically to reduce driver distraction.”
The layout of controls for this camera seems to reflect the statement to a “T.” In the MINI vehicles, the MINI Connected app allows users to operate the camera via the high-resolution colour display in the centre instrument panel and MINI joystick or controller in the centre console. The driver can also use a menu in the MINI operating system in order to start/stop the camera and set up a shooting schedule.
When it comes to the BMW vehicles, there is an on-board operating menu that helps streamline the process. The choices on the menu sit on the left side of the screen, while the camera’s field of view is shown in “near real-time” when the vehicle is in one spot.
Special modes, such as night driving, will be available for both the BMW and MINI vehicles, which means that drivers will be able to produce a wide variety of quality footage.
Despite the “innovation” factor involved in all this, it’s hard not to see this release as a marketing tactic. However, if you like the idea of recording your own driving adventures, this offer may seem attractive enough to be worth at least a look.