“The first truly consumer-friendly autonomous flying camera that anyone can use”
Selfies have triggered quite a revolution in the consumer electronics market. From getting recognised in the Oxford dictionary to pushing smartphone manufacturers to come up with better front facing cameras, the selfie fad is making companies push the cutting edge each day.
Update: The gadget has now launched as the Hover Camera Passport!
The latest bit comes from a lesser known manufacturer — Zero Zero Robotics. They fancy themselves as a bunch of R&D folks with a vested in interest in robotics.
Zero Zero Robotics have come out with what they say is the result of some serious R&D. The product — the Hover Camera — is a self flying quadcopter with a camera that does just what its name suggests: hovers and takes pictures and video.
Zero Zero Robotics, however, reckon it’s more of a flying camera than a drone.
The Hover Camera looks an extremely user friendly device, hardly requiring any user intervention to keep the gadget in the air.
Qui Wang, co-founder of Zero Zero Robotics (with experience at Twitter and Alibaba in the past in the AI and deep learning divisions) claims that the Hover Camera uses real-time AI to process its surroundings through its 13 mega-pixel camera.
Hover Camera can then map the area, as well as track and follow the user just by facial recognition — again, no user intervention required.
To process all that data, the company has developed a custom PCB with a 2.3GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 SoC which is a popular chipset, that found place on yesteryear flagship smartphones.
The 13 mega-pixel camera on the Hover Camera can shoot pictures and even record 4K video resolution, and comes with some neat and quirky features. The camera adopts Electronic Image Stabilisation (EIS) to take stable and blur-free pictures. The device even takes 360-degree panoramas by rotating about its axis.
Hover Camera will only come with a companion app, and will require no remote control to manually control the quadcopter. “Pilots” can watch live camera stream on their smartphone and even get a 720p copy of the video recorded through the device.
To access 4K video recorded on Hover Camera, users will have to connect the device to a PC via a microUSB cable and obtain the files from the 32GB built in ROM of the quadcopter.
It seems as though company hasn’t compromised on the built quality of the Hover Camera, as it houses a carbon fibre body in the shape of a cage with the rotor blades housed safely inside to prevent any injuries to the user.
Hover Camera weighs a mere 238 grams, which is just under the 250 grams mark set by the US Federal Aviation Administration, exceeding which pilots are required to register their drones.
The form factor of the Hover Camera is also extremely portable as it can be folded just like a notebook and reduce its size almost to that of a VCR tape.
The company hasn’t mentioned selling price for the Hover Camera, but word is that it’ll be somewhere around the $600 mark. The project is currently up for open beta with the retail version expected to show up this summer.
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