As discussed in the first blog entry, we identified that motorcyclists, whether commuting daily or on a longer-term adventure need a reliable helmet camera that has an extended recording time.
For a self-powered camera, we know that recording time depends on (a) its battery capacity and (b) camera power consumption. Typical listings regarding capacity (mAh) and runtime (battery life) of GoPro 7 to 10 cameras, recording up to 4K 30fps video, are provided below:
GoPro 10 - 1720mAh, 75 minutes
GoPro 9 - 1720mAh, 95 minutes
GoPro 8 - 1220mAh, 74 minutes
GoPro 7 - 1220mAh, 85 minutes
With the same 1720mAh battery, the GoPro 10 has less recording time on a single charge than the GoPro 9 - why? Well, we know GoPro announced a new GP2 processor for the GoPro 10 to address some criticism over the GoPro 9’s seemingly slow interface while providing faster responsiveness and much faster power-up time. But this new processor with its higher performance results in increased power consumption that reduces camera recording time.
GoPro has now released new firmware, resulting in better performance and extended battery life for the GoPro 10.
From the INNOV perspective, our focus is to get better (longer) recording times, like four hours (240 minutes) – a real challenge, with specific requirements: (1) using a good performance processor with less power consumption is the priority; (2) battery capacity enhancement; and (3) a skilled focused engineering team to optimize the hardware layout and firmware coding.
And within the INNOVV team, after considering the different types of processors with its specification and features, a new high-performance processor that is reliable and very power efficient was selected – it is assessed as the best to serve our (evolutionary) needs.
The power conundrum - mobile phones typically have large high-capacity internal batteries (some fixed, some swappable) to address the processing power needed to support multi-tasking, multi-media demands placed on the device by the users, often for extended periods of time – day in, day out. And although most devices today can be charged or powered by an external source (fixed or power pack based), it isn’t always seen as an effective or expedient solution to providing optimal device performance over extended periods of time and mixed activities.
From a portable camera point of view, another solution is to design a battery or battery pack that is easily fitted to or removed from the main camera body, much like the GoPro or similar types of action cameras that use small lower capacity swappable batteries that are relatively easy to swap out.
But we wanted a better solution; in following the projected shape of the new camera body, the removable battery case can hold two 1200mAh soft batteries perfectly for a total capacity of 2400mAh and in calculating the camera consumption of 500mAh, the system could achieve up to 4.8 hours of record time; an amazing achievement.
And taking it all one step further, the new camera utilizes USB Type-C ports and connectors; this connector is more refined in structure, easy to plug in (neutral orientation), more reliable in use and supports larger charging currents and, it also supports higher data rates. It is a great interface standard to use.
Good product design should be simple, innovative and as importantly, address consumer issues, some noted above. Good designers have always applied such thinking and hard work deserves a reward. And after further design optimization in PCBA and firmware, a recording time of five hours(300 minutes) at 4K (30fps) was achieved – a reward indeed. This is assessed to be the longest recording time for a 4K camera on or coming to market.
In working with a five-hour recording window on a single battery charge, which by itself is a great accomplishment, but in seldom being satisfied for long, our thoughts turned to user scenarios where multiple short trips or longer multi-day travel is the norm; and as such the question - how does the camera get a continued supply to support the longer-term travel and recording, is asked.
We have the solution for this; the innovative modular design of the INNOVV H5 allows the user to snap off the two flexible U-shaped clips, remove the battery pack, plug in the small external interface module (power and microphone) and connect it to an external USB power source (platform mounted USB outlet or power pack) – done.