Wearable Tech World Feature Article
September 30, 2014

New Concept Wearable Camera Literally Takes Flight

A new wrist-mounted device called the Nixie could very well change the way that we look at wearable device functionality – as well as the way we look at ourselves. Nixie is a concept design for a wearable camera that, with the flick of a wrist, will transform into a remote-controlled quadcopter that can then take photographs. By the time the device is ready for a public release, the team's captain Christoph Kohstall hopes that the device will be able to use the user's arm gestures to directly control how the quadcopter flies.

The four-rotor design means the flight platform is both lightweight and stable, making it comparable to even the best professional tripod stands. After taking the photo, the device will then fly back to the user's wrist automatically.

Unfortunately, the device is still a long way from being complete. Solving hurdles like making sure the camera knows who's wrist it should return to in a crowded area is one of them, but so is packing in enough processing power and mechanical power to resist even light winds without becoming overweight. Even though the rotors snap around the user's wrist when the camera returns, the soft yet durable material they are made out of will cushion the blow.

Yet if the design team can successfully complete this project, it will be useful for much more than the simple ‘selfie’ community. Industries from law enforcement to home improvement specialists will be able to use the device to quickly and efficiently take aerial photographs of a situation to determine further action.

The Nixie quadcopter conveniently wraps itself around the wearer's wrist with flexible propeller supports that unfold as soon as the wearer shakes it off, making it extremely convenient for taking pictures when hands are otherwise busy doing something else like climbing, riding a bicycle or even whitewater rafting. Nixie is a finalist in Intel's Make It Wearable event, where a winner will be announced on November 3rd, 2014.

Edited by Maurice Nagle

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