Aussie Invention: Bum Cam

There has been a rise in people using helmet cams to record their commutes. There’s our mate Dominic Flynn who uses it to name and shame motorists. Or as evidence to present to police after a crash like Craig Cowled did. Or just to record images of the guy who is punching you.

Recording the misdeeds of the dangerous halfwits who populate our roads is an understandable response to putting up with their nonsense day after day. Given the way we’re treated and what’s at stake (that is, our preciously curated bikes…and our bodies) hacking half of them with a tomahawk axe would be a reasonable response too. Given the options videoing them to show someone in authority might seem meek and pathetic but it’s realistically just about the only thing we can do.

The problem is no-one has really come up with a proper camera dedicated to the task. I saw a few years back an Aussie start-up tried to get one off the ground. It was a helmet camera made specifically to be worn every ride. Now another Aussie duo have invented something for the same job. The difference is it’s rear-mounted. And it doubles as a rear flashy light.

The Fly6 is a combination of bike light and bike camera. It’ll record your journey so later on you can show the police exactly which moron ran you off the road and crippled you. When you hobble into court it’ll be a comfort knowing you have the incident captured from a bum’s eye view.

That assumes that anyone gives a flying fuck about you and your stupid little video. Which they don’t. As Craig Cowled found out when police visited him in hospital and brushed aside his request to show them his video. It’ll get a tonne of hits on You Tube though so maybe you can take your earnings from your You Tube channel and use them to help pay your physio and rehab fees.

Specs on the camera are very good. If you’re the sort of person who remembers to plug shit in then you’ll have no problem with this camera/light and its 5 hour runtime. The video is good too. I was impressed when, at the end of the promo video, they told us the video was shot on the Fly6.

I’m less convinced about arguments that video will make motorists behave better. Most of them are too stupid to realise they’re doing anything wrong. Like the moron who recently let his 12 year old daughter marry an older man. He didn’t think he was doing anything wrong. Morons like that populate the road too. I’ve confronted a motorist who deliberately tried to run me down. I chased him down and found him entering his driveway. As far as he was concerned the incident was my fault and I deserved to die. I could have had a network TV film crew with me and this guy would have still got in my face. In a driver’s mind they’re the victims.

The Fly6 is a clever use of technology. When Apple invented the iPhone they didn’t invent one single new technology. They found clever ways to use existing tech and changed the way phones work. (Read: phones used to make phone calls but now they Facebook and give cricket scores and then go flat at lunchtime.) The Fly6 might not have the impact of the iPhone but they’ve already raised their Kickstarter target and hopefully this new product can make an impact on the way drivers behave.

I’m caught between my desire to support this new product and my cynicism that tells me I’ll capture useless video for my next of kin to show the coroner. The coroner will ignore the footage of the car deliberately ramming me and the driver will be charged with driving too close to the vehicle in front. Meanwhile the coroner’s findings will recommend cyclist wear protective clothing or cycle only in a designated cycling area located on the edge of town (where Saturday night impromptu drag racing takes over and regularly turns into an all-in brawl). It’s only $129 so at worst I’m buying an expensive flashy and at best I’m helping to moderate the way drivers behave on the roads we’re supposed to share. For that reason I hope I’ll invest in their bum cam and participate in making the world a better place. Of course, I’m notoriously tight with money so maybe I’ll just make cynical noises from the sidelines like I normally do. Whatever. Maybe you should spend you money. I sincerely hope you do.


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