Last chance to snag flying pocket camera on Indiegogo
A small flying camera controlled by your smartphone is finishing up its run on Indiegogo, but the information about it is a little lightweight.
Freelancer Michael Franco writes about the serious and silly sides of science and technology for CNET and other pixel and paper pubs. He's kept his fingers on the keyboard while owning a B&B in Amish country, managing an eco-resort in the Caribbean, sweating in Singapore, and rehydrating (with beer, of course) in Prague. E-mail Michael.
Curious about what's going on behind those tall hedges that line your neighbor's property? Need to check out a repair on your roof, but afraid to climb up a ladder? Want to just make some cool aerial videos but not into buying your own drone?
The 3D Pocketcoper might be just the thing for you.
Now finishing up its run on Indiegogo, the small, lightweight flying camera will link up to your smartphone via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. Controls are then relatively simple -- a tappable button for up, down, forward, back and left and right will appear on your screen. The camera is supposed to be able to fly 10 meters high (about 33 feet) before losing its connection with your phone, at which time, it "floats slowly to the ground."
The camera -- which can record in both 2D and 3D -- measures about 7.5 inches tall with a diameter measuring roughly 1.75 inches. It has a 12V rechargeable battery, which the creators say gave the gizmo a flight time of about 25 minutes and a camera lifespan of about six hours. Video is recorded onto a micro SD card inserted into the flying camera's body.
The video that accompanies the Indiegogo campaign is pretty lightweight (see below), which makes sense when you read this quote from the developers: "Currently we don't have a fully working prototype, the photos in campaign are computer renderings of what we envision the device to look like." This is surprising considering the recent hoopla over the Scribble pen that was pulled from both Kickstarter and Tilt because the crowdfunding sites wanted a more detailed video showing how the "any-color-on-Earth" pen actually worked.
Still, the insubstantial video and the fact that no prototype exists for the 3D Pocketcopter hasn't stopped backers from pledging to the campaign. The makers have so far raised over €90,000 (about $116,000) on an original goal of €15,000 (about $19,000). Although the early-bird and "late bird" pledge levels are gone, if you're sold on the concept, you can still grab one for for €89 (roughly $115), which is €10 cheaper than the expected retail price of €99 (about $130). The campaign ends on September 20.
The devices are supposed to ship in May of next year, so it won't be long till you can spy -- um, check up on -- your neighbors. Providing, that is, the inventors can actually make the device.