We’ve all had those moments when we are introduced to a new bit of technology that reminds us of something we once saw on Star Trek, or the early Batman series, or The Jetsons. It kind of stops us in our tracks and makes us shake our heads. Wow. They have that now.
For the last couple of years there has been an increase in the number of privately owned drone cameras, capable of flying up and over places and capturing stunning video whilst its operator sits down somewhere in a park, enjoying a coffee, checking out the action on a small hand held screen. Glorious footage way above the skylines of some of our most illustrious cities, incredible scenery captured in impossible to get to places down deep crevices, through mountain ranges, over oceans. Drone technology, like an awful lot of technology, is militarily based. Our armed forces like new and exciting gadgets that make attacking and defending things easier. Drones can do that too. Camera drones are not designed to shoot to kill though, rather shoot to thrill.
The very latest camera drone is so small; it can be worn as a wrist band that then unfurls to become a quadcopter flying camera. Yeah. They have that now.
It’s called a Nixie and it can fly in one of four pre-programmed modes to take video or stills and then will return to its owner. The Nixie was designed to compete in Intel’s ‘Make it wearable’ competition in November 2014. The little flying camera won, and is now in full development mode, although as of today they are not for commercial sale. They will be soon however, and the developers are targeting rock climbers and other adventure sports enthusiasts as their initial primary market. Having said that, when you see one, you’ll want one. The size of a watch, they send images and footage back to your smartphone in a live stream that you can then record and keep. The camera currently has 4 functions. In ‘boomerang’ mode, the drone flies a set distance from its user, takes a photo, and then returns. In ‘panorama’ mode, it takes photos to fill a 360° arc. In ‘follow me’ mode, it serves as a third-person view camera by trailing the user. In ‘hover’ mode, it hovers for use in jib shots and can be controlled from a smartphone. The camera weighs less than 0.1 pound and captures everything in full HD images or video. Truly, this is gadget porn stuff. Plus, it looks cool. It’s kind of like a digital watch, only it can fly like a helicopter and make movies. Which puts this all into perspective. In 5 years’ time, owning a Nixie will seem old hat…yeees, my wristband is actually a camera that can follow me around and film my every movement….yawn. But for now this mind blowing bit of kit has to be on everyone’s wish list this Christmas.