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What is the Cloud in Dash Cams?

Dash cam owners share a common fear: losing the footage they have captured, especially during crucial incidents like traffic violations, accidents, car theft, and keying.

Even though some dash cams are able to lock down video files, those files are only as secure as the camera they are stored on. A bad-faith actor can take your camera before there is any hope of downloading evidence.

And this is why Cloud has been developed in dash cams, to secure your files in a virtual storage that only you – or authorized persons – can access. If you wish to playback footage, the Cloud allows you to view files right on your smartphone, eliminating the need to physically check the unit, or plug in the SD card to your computer.

But thanks to tech advancements, the Cloud has gone beyond storage. In this article, we will dive deeper into what the Cloud exactly does in a dash cam, how you’ll be able to monitor your vehicle or driver real-time, plus our recommended Cloud solutions for you.

How does the Cloud work in a Dash Cam?

Similar to how iCloud works for your Apple devices, Cloud for dash cams refers to the ability of the device to connect to the internet and store files in a virtual server.

Beyond securing your videos, the Cloud enables automatic backup and dash cam setting configuration through a smartphone app, or desktop software. It can also keep you in the know by sending real-time notifications when your car detects motion and impact, depending on the model. Want to check the dash cam’s view in real time even if you’re miles away? The Cloud makes it all possible with a tap.

Premium dash cam brands like Garmin, Nextbase, BlackVue and Thinkware come with a Cloud, but the functions and features are not the same. For Garmin and Nextbase, their Cloud primarily refers to virtual storage where files can be uploaded.

On the other hand, BlackVue and Thinkware deliver innovative features that make the dash cam experience fully convenient. Let’s check out each Cloud feature in Thinkware and BlackVue dash cameras.

How does the Cloud work in a Dash Cam?

Similar to how iCloud works for your Apple devices, Cloud for dash cams refers to the ability of the device to connect to the internet and store files in a virtual server.

Beyond securing your videos, the Cloud enables automatic backup and dash cam setting configuration through a smartphone app, or desktop software. It can also keep you in the know by sending real-time notifications when your car detects motion and impact, depending on the model. Want to check the dash cam’s view in real time even if you’re miles away? The Cloud makes it all possible with a tap.

Premium dash cam brands like Garmin, Nextbase, BlackVue and Thinkware come with a Cloud, but the functions and features are not the same. For Garmin and Nextbase, their Cloud primarily refers to virtual storage where files can be uploaded.

On the other hand, BlackVue and Thinkware deliver innovative features that make the dash cam experience fully convenient. Let’s check out each Cloud feature in Thinkware and BlackVue dash cameras.

How do dash cams connect to the Cloud?

Before you can connect to the Cloud, you have to ensure that your dash cam is a Cloud-enabled device, as there are dash cam brands and models that don’t offer this feature.

If your dash cam is capable of connecting to the Cloud, you must also have access to the dash cam’s dedicated smartphone app or desktop viewer, which you also have to set up an account for. This will allow you to navigate the Cloud features while also adjusting the settings based on your needs.

Most importantly, you need to have a stable internet access so you can use the Cloud. You can connect via your local Wi-Fi (When in range), Built-in LTE(In select models), a vehicle internet hotspot connection, or directly through a mobile hotspot on your phone.


What is Thinkware CONNECTED?

Thinkware dash cams are popular for the right reasons – sleek design, Super Night Vision (from 1.0 to 4.0), Energy Saving parking mode, Advanced Driver Assistance Systems, safety camera alerts, and tested reliability in the long run. But on top of these features, one of the reasons why users love Thinkware is its Cloud Connectivity.

With the advanced Thinkware CONNECTED for the Q1000 and the all-new U3000, Thinkware dash cam users can access convenience features like Remote Live View, Strong Impact Notifications, Vehicle Status & Driving History, and Emergency SOS messages.

The Thinkware CONNECTED app can be downloaded from the Google Play or App Store. Best of all, the Thinkware CONNECTED is entirely free of charge - there is no tiered pricing.

What is Thinkware CONNECTED?

Thinkware dash cams are popular for the right reasons – sleek design, Super Night Vision (from 1.0 to 4.0), Energy Saving parking mode, Advanced Driver Assistance Systems, safety camera alerts, and tested reliability in the long run. But on top of these features, one of the reasons why users love Thinkware is its Cloud Connectivity.

With the advanced Thinkware CONNECTED for the Q1000 and the all-new U3000, Thinkware dash cam users can access convenience features like Remote Live View, Strong Impact Notifications, Vehicle Status & Driving History, and Emergency SOS messages.

The Thinkware CONNECTED app can be downloaded from the Google Play or App Store. Best of all, the Thinkware CONNECTED is entirely free of charge - there is no tiered pricing.

Thinkware CONNECTED Features

Remote Live View

Whether your vehicle is in continuous driving mode or parking mode, the Cloud provides you with a remote live view straight to your mobile device. Helpful for checking in your vehicle, and seeing exactly what’s going on with it, in real-time.

Strong Impact Notifications

With this feature, you receive crucial information from the dash cam – right there and then. If an impact is detected, the Thinkware dash cam will automatically send a notification to your phone. In the Thinkware CONNECTED app, you can view the full recording of the incident, safely stored on the cloud.

Check Vehicle Status and Driving History

Now, if someone else is driving your car, this feature helps you check important information like where the vehicle is located. Beyond that, the Thinkware CONNECTED app provides a full history of where the vehicle has been, along with plenty of useful information on that.

You can also check the battery voltage, and even turn off the dash cam remotely if the battery voltage is low.

Geofencing

Apart from tracking the driving history, Thinkware CONNECTED is also equipped with a Geofencing feature. Through this, the Thinkware dash cam will send a push notification through the app if a vehicle enters or exits a preselected geographic zone. Moreover, the radius of the zone can be set easily by tapping on the Google Maps display and selecting the desired radius, from 100m all the way up to 600 km.

Emergency SOS Messages

In an emergency situation, if you are unable to notify your friends or colleagues yourself about what is going on, pressing the REC button on the dash cam for more than 3 secs will send an Emergency Message to your registered emergency contacts, informing them about the situation. A 20-sec video clip will also be uploaded to the server and can be viewed at a later time. This also occurs automatically when the camera detects a serious impact to the vehicle.

Thinkware CONNECTED Features

Remote Live View

Whether your vehicle is in continuous driving mode or parking mode, the Cloud provides you with a remote live view straight to your mobile device. Helpful for checking in your vehicle, and seeing exactly what’s going on with it, in real-time.

With this feature, you receive crucial information from the dash cam – right there and then. If an impact is detected, the Thinkware dash cam will automatically send a notification to your phone. In the Thinkware CONNECTED app, you can view the full recording of the incident, safely stored on the cloud.

Strong Impact Notifications

Check Vehicle Status and Driving History

Now, if someone else is driving your car, this feature helps you check important information like where the vehicle is located. Beyond that, the Thinkware CONNECTED app provides a full history of where the vehicle has been, along with plenty of useful information on that.

You can also check the battery voltage, and even turn off the dash cam remotely if the battery voltage is low.

Geofencing

Apart from tracking the driving history, Thinkware CONNECTED is also equipped with a Geofencing feature. Through this, the Thinkware dash cam will send a push notification through the app if a vehicle enters or exits a preselected geographic zone. Moreover, the radius of the zone can be set easily by tapping on the Google Maps display and selecting the desired radius, from 100m all the way up to 600 km.

Emergency SOS Messages

In an emergency situation, if you are unable to notify your friends or colleagues yourself about what is going on, pressing the REC button on the dash cam for more than 3 secs will send an Emergency Message to your registered emergency contacts, informing them about the situation. A 20-sec video clip will also be uploaded to the server and can be viewed at a later time. This also occurs automatically when the camera detects a serious impact to the vehicle.

Who needs Thinkware CONNECTED?

Thinkware CONNECTED proves itself as a proper cloud service, a welcome upgrade over previous cloud iterations. Capable of keeping you in-the-know about all goings on at your vehicle while you’re away, or if someone else is driving.

With Thinkware CONNECTED, cloud connection relies on third-party hotspot devices. You can use your phone as a hotspot for your dash cam, but that would only work if you continue to keep your phone inside the vehicle, even after you've parked.

Because of that, the Cloud is also great for tracking the vehicle while it's on the road: geofencing, strong impact notifications, live GPS tracking. So, if you are a parent or a small business owner, then Thinkware Cloud and Thinkware CONNECTED can help you monitor your vehicle and driver(s) on the road. Now that’s efficient management!

How to provide a Thinkware Cloud connection

Before anything else, it’s important to find a stable internet source to use Thinkware CONNECTED seamlessly. The Thinkware dash cam can be connected to a smartphone hotspot, built-in-vehicle hotspot, or an external hotspot device which has an active data connection. If you have a dash cam battery pack like the BlackboxMyCar PowerCell 8, setting up the mobile hotspot will be easier with the battery’s 5V USB outlet.

 


Who needs Thinkware CONNECTED?

Thinkware CONNECTED proves itself as a proper cloud service, a welcome upgrade over previous cloud iterations. Capable of keeping you in-the-know about all goings on at your vehicle while you’re away, or if someone else is driving.

With Thinkware CONNECTED, cloud connection relies on third-party hotspot devices. You can use your phone as a hotspot for your dash cam, but that would only work if you continue to keep your phone inside the vehicle, even after you've parked.

Because of that, the Cloud is also great for tracking the vehicle while it's on the road: geofencing, strong impact notifications, live GPS tracking. So, if you are a parent or a small business owner, then Thinkware Cloud and Thinkware CONNECTED can help you monitor your vehicle and driver(s) on the road. Now that’s efficient management!

How to provide a Thinkware Cloud connection

Before anything else, it’s important to find a stable internet source to use Thinkware CONNECTED seamlessly. The Thinkware dash cam can be connected to a smartphone hotspot, built-in-vehicle hotspot, or an external hotspot device which has an active data connection. If you have a dash cam battery pack like the BlackboxMyCar PowerCell 8, setting up the mobile hotspot will be easier with the battery’s 5V USB outlet.

 

BlackVue Cloud

Impressed with Thinkware Cloud and Thinkware CONNECTED? Wait until you see what the BlackVue Cloud can do.

The BlackVue Cloud has been around for the longest, most reliable cloud connection. It supports more features than its competitors, unlocking a suite of innovative live features that take dash cam functionality to a new level. There are three price plans available for the BlackVue Cloud service: Free, Smart and Fleet. Unless you are a small business owner with a few company vehicles to manage or a fleet manager with an entire fleet to look after, the Free plan is more than enough for your daily commute and road trips.

Features of the BlackVue Cloud

Remote Live View

Similar to Thinkware, BlackVue is also equipped with a Remote Live View feature that gives you access to your dash cam recordings in real time. Whether through the BlackVue Web browser or the BlackVue app on your phone, you can access a real-time video feed from your Cloud-connected dashcam and swap easily between the front, rear or interior cameras.

This gives you on-the-spot access to the dash cam’s surroundings, while also allowing you to communicate with whoever’s driving or riding your vehicle through Two-Way Voice Communications. That’s right, you can talk through the camera with your phone! This is useful for fleet or when providing directions, as it works as a voice call but hands-free!

Instant Push Notifications

If ever something happens to your car, this feature enables your BlackVue dash cam to instantly inform you when an impact OR motion is detected. When an event is detected, your BlackVue will send a notification, accompanied by a snapshot to give you a better idea of the incident.

Remote Video Playback

Sure, your BlackVue may not prevent hit-and-runs. But if they happen, there is a good chance it will capture crucial video evidence through the Remote Video Playback feature. Through this, you can browse all the videos recorded by your BlackVue from your mobile phone or a web browser.

Live Event Upload

With Live Event Upload, your BlackVue can save Event videos in real-time to the Cloud. Not only does it start saving to the Cloud soon after impact, but it also includes the 5-second pre-impact footage.

GPS Tracking

Through the GPS feature, you can instantly visualize on a map your car’s location and speed. On the free plan, you can still access real-time information, but for a detailed history, the smart plan will store 7 days worth of data, and with the BlackVue Fleet pla, you can also access 90-days’ worth of GPS data.

Event Map

Suitable for all BlackVue dash cam owners, the Event Map feature combines data from the dash cam with a crowd-sourced map to display events such as impacts, hard brake incidents, and even playback videos, making it ideal for both fleet management and personal driving. With this Event Map, you can stay in the know about local road conditions, high accident areas, and the general experience of your local community.

Features of the BlackVue Cloud

Remote Live View

Similar to Thinkware, BlackVue is also equipped with a Remote Live View feature that gives you access to your dash cam recordings in real time. Whether through the BlackVue Web browser or the BlackVue app on your phone, you can access a real-time video feed from your Cloud-connected dashcam and swap easily between the front, rear or interior cameras.

This gives you on-the-spot access to the dash cam’s surroundings, while also allowing you to communicate with whoever’s driving or riding your vehicle through Two-Way Voice Communications. That’s right, you can talk through the camera with your phone! This is useful for fleet or when providing directions, as it works as a voice call but hands-free!

Instant Push Notifications

If ever something happens to your car, this feature enables your BlackVue dash cam to instantly inform you when an impact OR motion is detected. When an event is detected, your BlackVue will send a notification, accompanied by a snapshot to give you a better idea of the incident.

Remote Video Playback

Sure, your BlackVue may not prevent hit-and-runs. But if they happen, there is a good chance it will capture crucial video evidence through the Remote Video Playback feature. Through this, you can browse all the videos recorded by your BlackVue from your mobile phone or a web browser.

Live Event Upload

With Live Event Upload, your BlackVue can save Event videos in real-time to the Cloud. Not only does it start saving to the Cloud soon after impact, but it also includes the 5-second pre-impact footage.

GPS Tracking

Through the GPS feature, you can instantly visualize on a map your car’s location and speed. On the free plan, you can still access real-time information, but for a detailed history, the smart plan will store 7 days worth of data, and with the BlackVue Fleet pla, you can also access 90-days’ worth of GPS data.

Event Map

Suitable for all BlackVue dash cam owners, the Event Map feature combines data from the dash cam with a crowd-sourced map to display events such as impacts, hard brake incidents, and even playback videos, making it ideal for both fleet management and personal driving. With this Event Map, you can stay in the know about local road conditions, high accident areas, and the general experience of your local community.

More from BlackVue: Optional LTE

For both Thinkware and BlackVue dash cams, a Wi-Fi source is required for you to activate the Cloud features. Thinkware dash cams require internet outside of the unit, which can be a pain to figure out. 

However, for BlackVue dash cams, you have the option to connect to an instant mobile hotspot with the CM100G LTE accessory. And when connected to the CM100G LTE, your BlackVue can serve as a mobile hotspot providing wireless Internet access to your smartphones, consoles, and even laptops. Video conferencing on the road? No problem!

Alternatively, BlackVue has also introduced built-in LTE dash cams like the BlackVue DR770X-2CH LTE and the BlackVue DR970X-2CH LTE. While standard BlackVue dash cams like the DR770X, DR970X, or DR770X Box require the CM100G LTE module for internet connectivity, the LTE-enabled dash cams take matters one step further by having a built-in SIM card slot. Just insert a compatible nano sim card with an active data plan and your dash cam is ready for always-on Cloud-connectivity!

Setting up the SIM Card for Your BlackVue Cloud dash cam

When it comes to choosing a SIM card, you can either use the included BlackVue SIM card that comes free in every purchase of a BlackVue LTE dash cam like the DR770X-2CH LTE and the DR970X-2CH LTE. These BlackVue SIM cards require a subscription.

Or alternatively, you can pick up a SIM card from a local carrier. SIM cards are typically larger than nano, but you can usually carefully snap out the smallest (nano) version of the SIM card, and this tiny chip will be inserted into the LTE dash cam or the CM100 LTE module. Unsure what SIM card to choose? Check out our guide here. 

For a step-by-step guide on SIM card activation, check out our full guide here.

Cloud for Connectivity. Cloud for Peace of Mind.

A Cloud dash cam is more than just a video recording device. It’s an advanced surveillance system for your car that watches over your vehicle, informs you immediately of incidents such as impacts, and makes your ownership experience a breeze - which you can only get in premium dash cams like Thinkware and BlackVue.

All you need is your dedicated dash cam app and an internet connection, and you can see what’s happening around your car in real-time - wherever you are in the world. Ready to experience the cool features of the Cloud? Check out the Thinkware Q1000, Thinkware U1000, Thinkware U3000, BlackVue DR970X, BlackVue DR770X, and our LTE dash cams available in exclusive Signature Bundle offers!