Product Spotlight: Momento M4

Firstech, the well-known manufacturer of the Compustar brand of remote vehicle starters and security systems, recently introduced the new Momento series of dash cameras. Having a dash cam in your vehicle is an inexpensive way to protect yourself against fraud because it can assist in settling disputes in the event of an accident. Read on to delve into the features and functions of the Momento M4.

Platform and Application

The M4 is a high-resolution dash cam system designed to be installed at the top of your windshield, using the included adhesive-backed mounting bracket. The M4 includes a 1 megapixel CMOS image sensor that records at a resolution of 1,280×720 pixels at 30 frames per second. The M4 kit includes a second camera that is suitable for installation on the rear window to monitor driver behavior behind your vehicle, or on the windshield to record movement within the vehicle. Recording the driver if there is an incident can provide evidence to verify you were not talking on the phone, texting or adjusting the radio at the time. The rear camera features a 0.3 megapixel sensor that records at 720×480 resolution at up to 30 fps.

On the rear panel of the M4 is a 3.5-inch TFT LCD touchscreen that displays the camera image and provides an easy interface to set up and configuration the system. The right side of the unit is home to a mechanical on/off switch, a speaker and the microSD card slot. On the top are connections for power, the rear camera and an optional GPS receiver. A microphone on the bottom of the chassis records audio whenever the system is capturing video.

Momento packages the M4 as a complete recording solution. They include both front and rear cameras, all the cables and mounting hardware, and even a 16 GB microSD card. Some companies sell their dash camera systems a la carte. Momento believes that what happens behind the vehicle is as important as what happens in front of it.

Features and Functions

A hard-wire kit that your installer can connect to your choice of constant or switch power points powers the camera system. If connected to a switched power source, the M4 wakes up and starts recording right away when you start your car. When connected to a constant power source and with the parking function activated, the M4 monitors motion within the camera image and only stores information when it senses action. The onboard three-axis accelerometer can also trigger the recording function.

The M4 stores video while you’re driving in a folder on the provided 16 GB microSD card called Driving. It stores motion detected while in parking mode in a folder called Motion. The onboard accelerometer can trigger the M4 to store a video file in the Event folder if motion exceeds a user-selectable threshold. Finally, pressing an icon in the bottom-right corner of the screen will trigger the manual recording mode and store those images in a separate folder. Once the Motion folder is full, the system will overwrite old files.

The M4 stores recordings from 10–15 seconds before any trigger. Even if something has already happened, you can trigger the M4 to store a video of the event. The M4 includes a feature called Forward Vehicle Movement Alert that uses advanced image processing to alert you when the car in front of you drives away.

Parking Mode

As mentioned, the M4 can monitor activity around your vehicle after you stop driving. Once the system detects a lack of activity for about 10 minutes, it stops storing video. Motion within the camera’s field of vision or activity detected by the accelerometer will trigger the system to record video. Parking mode can capture vandalism and the behavior of people or pets around your vehicle. The M4 can be set to turn off parking mode after a preset amount of time, or if the vehicle battery voltage decreases past an adjustable level. The automatic shut-down system will prevent the M4 from killing your battery.

Why You Need a Momento M4

A video recording system like the M4 is inexpensive insurance against someone taking advantage of you. It is not at all uncommon for people to jump on the hoods of cars and fake injuries. Likewise, many scammers will back into stopped vehicles and claim they were rear-ended. The M4 is your indisputable witness to their behavior and can help prevent dramatic insurance rate hikes. Visit your local Momento dealer for more information.