For those of you thinking that this is a year-in-review post recounting my time as a Q Roll Model for Quantum®, you’d be wrong (although that sounds like a good idea for a future blog). One of the benefits of being a Q Roll Model is being able to test out new equipment and accessories before anyone else. My Instagram followers may recall a photo taken with my friend, Alex, a technician from Quantum who set me up with the recently released Quantum backup camera. This small piece of technology has large benefits and unlimited versatility.
The Quantum backup camera is straightforward. The camera itself is lightweight and stealthy enough to be placed anywhere on the power wheelchair. It has a 3.5-inch display, which is mounted on a gooseneck attachment. The gooseneck can be used for existing Quantum accessories like the phone and tablet holder. The display is mounted easily underneath an armrest or headrest and is compact enough to stay out of the way.
My favorite feature of the Quantum backup camera is the infrared mode. Infrared is a fancy way to say night vision. While after-hours trips are difficult during COVID-19, the ability to see in the dark has its benefits. Picture this: the lights in my home office start to flicker. Within five minutes, the power was out in my home as well as homes on my block. This was the beginning of a three-day electrical outage in my area due to Hurricane Isaias. Suddenly, the backup camera, once considered a luxury, is now a lifeline. Candles are great, flashlights are useful, but nothing beats the 170-degree view that the backup camera provides, especially in low-light conditions. With winter slowly approaching and days growing shorter, taking the garbage out as the sun goes down is a much less daunting task when the surrounding environmental elements are clearly visible.
Often, the quality-of-life choices made during the design process do more to extend the usability of a product than the actual product. The backup camera is no exception. In Jared’s review of the backup camera on his Edge 3 Stretto® Power Wheelchair, his camera is positioned near the base of his motorized wheelchair for a perspective that is lower to the ground. The placement of the camera is so versatile that I could easily switch mine from a center orientation to a lower one, which fits my needs at a given time. This change helped me to be mindful of small babies and four-legged friends. A screwdriver is all that is needed to make a motorized wheelchair user more aware of his or her surroundings at different angles.
Almost every power wheelchair user prefers using dynamic mounts and accessories over static ones. This notion is plainly evident in the decision to mount the camera’s display on a gooseneck instead of a rigid frame. The unoccupied space directly in front of the wheelchair is precious real estate for the user because it allows different components to be attached while maintaining operational functions of the chair, such as a personal writing surface, cupholder, etc. In my case, I need to align myself with a computer desk at work. In its upright orientation, the backup camera display creates extra distance between my chair and my desk. Thankfully, because the gooseneck is so flexible, I can fit it under my table while the camera is still active. A simple feature that is remarkably useful.
If you want eyes in the back of your head and the ability to see in the dark, all in an elegant design, get one of these, you wont regret it.
About Tim Shin: Tim lives in River Vale, NJ. He enjoys food, fashion, music and television. Click here to learn more about Tim.