Have you ever wondered what would happen if you dared crossbreed a GoPro camera and a quadcopter? Silly as the thought may sound, it has already been done – and to incredible outcome, too: meet Nixie, the first wearable drone that captures images and selfies on the fly (quite literally so).
Created by physics researcher Dr Christoph Kohstall and his team at Stanford University, Nixie is a wrist-worn drone that easily unfolds and expands by a gentle touch of a button to take flight and capture overhead images of the wearer on the go. Once in the air, Nixie tracks your movements thanks to the integrated motion sensors, filming your moves from unique positions and angles using an integrated rotating Polaroid camera, and then returns to your wrist like a well-trained bird. This smart drone will be controlled using a timer and summoned by gestures, though we will probably have to wait until the official Nixie release to find out exactly how this all works in real-life.
The early Nixie prototype has recently received $50,000 (£30,700) in funding to help take it further in development. And though the prototype is yet to undergo further engineering and testing, it has already made it to the Intel’s annual Make It Wearable competition finals. In case it wins, the Nixie project will swoop up both the prize money and the tech support from the Intel Santa Clara headquarters, in hopes of making the flying camera drone concept a rock-solid reality before long.
Attached to a wrist strap and fitted with a tiny camera, Dr Kohstall’s remote-controlled drone may be the next best way to take a cool overhead selfie without seeming overly self-obsessed or having to fiddle with complex camera setups. Let’s keep our thumbs crossed for Nixie to be the name on the Intel competition winning card that will be read out in San Francisco on November 3 and taken to production lines for further development.
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