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The future of helmet cams...

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

If you have not yet been bored to death with various GoPro footage, brace yourself... the future is coming.   Apparently some company is working on a mini-helicopter MeCam that can hover above you and stream a video to your smartphone...popcorn.gif   Am I the only one horrified by the vision of a ski slope covered in a cloud of personal micro-copters...

 

post #2 of 10

Curious to see if this idea flies (pun semi-intended). I am intrigued as to what kind of product they can put out. It would seem to me it would be difficult to get steady video moving at the speed required to keep up with a skier plus throw in the wind that usually is blowing on a ski hill. Also I could see it being more of a safety issue when it comes to lifts. Ski under a lift line, the copter follows, and well the rest is to be decided by a jury of your peers in Civil court. 

post #3 of 10

Just watched their promo video, its still in production for now. I don't see that being viable for filming any type of skiing unless you were going really slow. Not sure what kind of image sensor they have on the camera either, but for a $49 device I'm guessing a not very good one. 

post #4 of 10

I saw a very similar design at the mall over Christmas: four shrouded rotors, video camera with wireless feed to the TV set in the store. Should be pretty simple to program it so that it follows an RF beacon and keeps the camera pointed towards it. At a power output low enough to be safe for a person in a collision, it'd never be able to keep up with a skier.

post #5 of 10

As I watched a gate panel twising in a miny tornado yesterday, I don't think an Apache attack helicopter could have hovered there never mind that bitty thing. :)

post #6 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by chilehed View Post

I saw a very similar design at the mall over Christmas: four shrouded rotors, video camera with wireless feed to the TV set in the store. Should be pretty simple to program it so that it follows an RF beacon and keeps the camera pointed towards it. At a power output low enough to be safe for a person in a collision, it'd never be able to keep up with a skier.


I initially thought a gust of wind would topple that thing, but perhaps not.  A personal drone?  Now that would be cool allowing you to be photographed while skiing with the option to take out any SOB that runs into you.  The holes left in the slope from the Hellfire missiles will just add character to the place and will someday be considered big moguls.  Cameras on all the lift towers and trees surrounding the good runs?  Why not? Terrain parks?  It is a given.    Program your iPhone to record the time when you ski by and download the video at the base.  The ski areas are already photographing for free so why not do the videos, too?   Can anyone say, "Big Brother?"

 

Seriously, people want to be photographed.  Renting a personal coptercam or downloading vids automatically taken in terrain parks may be the future of on hill photography.  I hope not, but if you build it they will come. 

post #7 of 10

Flying those mini-helicopers outside basically ruins them, as they are made for indoor use only.   Most of them anyway..   Take them outside, and they stop working after a few hours.

post #8 of 10

If the concept is mechanically viable, now that the idea is apparently circulating, an electronic engineering team is likely to design a costly prototype, go through a period of development and design improvements, eventually ending up with something they might sell to broadcasting networks at ski/snowboard/mogul events, kayaking events, and who knows what other sporting events.  Imagine a micro copter video system doing a triathalon during the swim portion flying over the ocean.  Or one above a cycling event following above and just behind the lead cyclists.  Of course some of that is already done today via helicopters flying high above mounted with monster zoom video cameras.   Currently a few  events like the olympics have had video camera on cable designs above some events.  Of course we see the same cable thing today on NFL football games.   I think that technology, especially the positional control and stability gyros are now well developed and will always be superior because such can handle large weights a micro copter cannot.  However the infrastructure for a cable system and the high cost of building it and expensive video equipment mounted probably enables the potential for lower niche less sophisticated products.   If that develops there may be a time after micro copter designs at a professional level are ironed out that such can be miniaturized with less expense for consumers.

post #9 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by dave_SSS View Post

If the concept is mechanically viable, now that the idea is apparently circulating, an electronic engineering team is likely to design a costly prototype, go through a period of development and design improvements, eventually ending up with something they might sell to broadcasting networks at ski/snowboard/mogul events, kayaking events, and who knows what other sporting events.  Imagine a micro copter video system doing a triathalon during the swim portion flying over the ocean.  Or one above a cycling event following above and just behind the lead cyclists.  Of course some of that is already done today via helicopters flying high above mounted with monster zoom video cameras.   Currently a few  events like the olympics have had video camera on cable designs above some events.  Of course we see the same cable thing today on NFL football games.   I think that technology, especially the positional control and stability gyros are now well developed and will always be superior because such can handle large weights a micro copter cannot.  However the infrastructure for a cable system and the high cost of building it and expensive video equipment mounted probably enables the potential for lower niche less sophisticated products.   If that develops there may be a time after micro copter designs at a professional level are ironed out that such can be miniaturized with less expense for consumers.


Gyro designs in micro copters is actually pretty advanced especially in the quads. The issue is wind. Larger RC heli's can deal with a pretty decent amount of wind. Once you start to get small it becomes a pretty big issue.

post #10 of 10

It'll be interesting to see what happens when you duck into the trees.

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