Contour Connect ViewSee all photos
The ContourGPS helmet camera has a GPS receiver built in, as you might have guessed. Interestingly, though, it also has Bluetooth functionality lurking within, disabled at first but now unleashed with the release of a suitable receiving app. The latest camera firmware turns it on and, if you install the (free) app from Contour onto your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, you can pair the two up.
But first you need to install a little augmentation. Apple requires some certified hardware inside the camera, so you'll need to cough up $29.99 for the Connect View card. It slots in next to the battery and lets camera talk to phone (or PMP, or tablet). We're told this won't be necessary for the Android release that's coming later, which is mighty good news for synthetic humanoids.
Once the card is installed and the firmware updated you're ready to pair. To connect you need to hold the "hidden" button on the ContourGPS down, which is located beneath the slider on top. This requires a healthy squeeze and, if done with enough vigor, will set the camera's status light blinking blue. At that point you can pair it to your device and launch the app.
The app itself offers a somewhat grainy but definitely workable image of what the camera is seeing, letting you line up the perfect shot before you strap into whatever exotic adventure you're about to partake. That's handy, but even more so is the ability to tweak camera settings. Previously you could only change things like resolution and exposure when the camera was tethered to a computer. Now you can quickly do it in the field. This is a huge step forward, and the app even helps the camera's GPS get a lock.
When you start recording the camera automatically disconnects, so you'll need to squeeze the button after every shot if you need to adjust positioning. Having to manually reconnect each time is a bit of a drag, but probably better than the battery drain you'd get by leaving Bluetooth constantly on.