Recently I’ve been looking into the technology that we use when we ride. More specifically Bluetooth intercom units and HD cameras, and if it’s possible to pair them together in one unit without compromising on quality in terms of connectivity and video/photo quality. Dom Humby gets connected.
Enter the SCS S-10 — the latest Bluetooth Intercom from SCS which comes with all the required mounts and fixtures to fit any helmet and is really easy to install. You will, however, have to buy a micro SD memory card (up to 32Gb) for the camera to be used, which is common with any action camera you could buy.
Before you secure the unit mount in place, make sure you download the App that goes with it called VisionBank. Once connected, this will help you with mounting the unit correctly so that camera will capture what you want it to, instead of your dials or the sky! Once it’s all fitted correctly you can get it connected to the devices you want and get going. With a voice control button on the bottom you can control your phone with ease. All the other buttons are easy to use whilst wearing motorcycle gloves, including the smaller camera buttons.
This unit has a maximum range of 500m in open terrain. In closed terrain you could expect that to drop to around 300m within line of sight for relatively clear connectivity, any further and it could possibly disconnect. If you do get disconnected it’s not a problem. Once you’ve caught up, it will automatically reconnect to the other riders in the group.
The speakers are very clear and easy to position as they’re not too intrusive and won’t put too much pressure on your ears. The microphone transmits clearly with no issue of wind noise. The camera functions without fault and, when you consider it’s combined in an intercom unit, it is very clear and doesn’t suffer from wind distortion or movement jar.
The SCS also has a photo button situated on the outside face of the unit that allows you to take snap shots while riding. With a 32Gb card installed, I found that the file sizes produced weren’t too big and I could get a lot of footage without having to continuously empty the card and reinstall it. This in itself is a massive perk. It doesn’t take long to charge and the battery life is exceptional considering it’s technically powering two products simultaneously. With continuous use of the intercom, camera and streaming functions, I still found I would only have to charge it every other ride out. Even then the battery wasn’t flat.
Now, unfortunately there are some downsides. Depending on the type of helmet you’ve got you may find the camera might not sit properly. This is because of the mount not being tailored to every type of helmet. I use a Shark Skwal 2 and, as it is quite chiselled, it sits at an angle for the camera lens. I would like to see if it’s possible to put a more powerful transmitter in the unit for riding. If you’re riding on some tight roads where one rider may get caught up and the lead rider may get further ahead, you will find you will get disconnected until you are in more open terrain.
There are other products on the market that have the same functions but will cost quite a bit more, although they do have adjustable lenses and a greater transmission distance. For this price the only major issue I could find was the transmission distance. If you’re riding in larger groups where you won’t be split up as often then the SCS S-10 will suit you perfectly. The SCS S-10 retails for £249.99
FEATURES: Make/Receive phone calls; Pillion intercom & bike to bike; 4 Rider conference intercom; Listen to music on your device; Voice command; Digital noise reduction; Integral 1080p HD Video camera; Take photos of your trip; Internal Wifi for data transfer; Free VisionBank/RoadCam App; Rainproof Unit
SPECIFICATIONS: Bluetooth V4.1; CSR Chipset; 500m range; 4 Rider intercom; 1080p High Definition Video Camera; 30 Hour Intercom working time; 15 Hour music playing time; 4 Hour Recording time; 15 day standby time; 2.5 hour charge time; Powerful 1800mAh Battery; Large 40mm speakers; Charge & connection via Micro USB; Own Wifi data transit
PACKAGE INCLUDES: Helmet Bluetooth & HD camera unit; Speaker set; 1 Boom microphone; 1 Stick on microphone; Velcro attachments for speakers/microphone; Different mounting hardware for unit; Micro USB data/charging lead; Installation & operating instructions
I was extremely happy to be able to test and review this product because it’s still quite a new concept. For now, I’m going to switch back to using my Interphone F4MC because the transmission range is a little higher. That being said, if you ride in larger groups it will work wonders. If there are four of you with this unit, you can piggy back the signal across all four and get greater distance. Although this only works with the SCS unit.
I’m looking forward to what SCS has to offer in future and hopefully they will bring out another more advanced version. Check out South East Biker’s YouTube channel to see what how the camera performed: https://bit.ly/2DpX1eU