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Flying video camera helicopter streams straight to your Android smartphone

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 The flying MeCam captures video and streams it straight to your Android smartphone.

We must have one: The MeCam is a voice-controlled flying video camera helicopter that streams directly to your Android phone. 

According to Android Community, Always Innovating is working on the product, which will also follow your every move after it's been synced to your smartphone and share its video stream via your social networks. 

Three patented stabilization algorithms keep the device in flight. The MeCam will run on a 1.5 GHz Cortex-A9 processor with 1GB of RAM, micro-SD for storage and WiFi/Bluetooth capabilities. Always Innovating anticpates the MeCam will start at $49.

It will still be sometime before we're all being followed by our own personal copter cams, however; the MeCam isn't expected to launch until 2014. 

Comments

Total comments: 62
TakenUserName

Has the FAA relaxed the rules on this yet? While they allow remote control helicopters and gyrocopters for recreational/sport use, they grounded all others when used commercially. I know several real estate photographers who posted ariel photos of homes for sale and suddenly got a visit from the FAA., and effectively closed that portion of their business. They were going to make "rules" but were absurd...like a full helicopter's license. They also made exceptions (or special permits) for government agencies so now seeing police departments with ariel drones of similat design.

0 upvotes
stromaroma

Soon they'll ban kites. Oh wait, they already do that in Afghanistan.

1 upvote
Roberto Mettifogo

same in Italy, our FAA equivalent (ENAC) just published a law draft, basically we aerial videographer are all grounded...

Comment edited 15 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
StanRogers

Y'know, there was a time when forgetting to turn off the lavalier mic when you went to the can was just about the most embarrassing thing you could do at a conference...

1 upvote
maxnimo

Totally retarded. And just where is the power coming from? At most this thing will fly for 90 seconds, even with the best batteries today.

0 upvotes
zevobh

what the heck makes you think that? the Walkera Ladybird is almost exactly the same size, and flys for a good 7-8 min. I cant imagine that the camera will divide that by eight. anyway, people have put cameras on them before:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q_ycnkQka08

0 upvotes
Roberto Mettifogo

that can easily fly more than 5 minutes, maybe 10, and charge in 10.

0 upvotes
maxnimo

7 minutes on a tiny battery that I can't even see? LOL.
Would that be a fusion battery or an antimatter battery or a magic battery or a divine battery?

0 upvotes
AlanG

You can't see that battery on top? This is just like the Ladybird and various clones of it. What's so hard to believe? It is 2013 and we have LiPo batteries and advanced micro-electronics.

Comment edited 44 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
mrdancer

p.s. - I want one with Nokia's Pureview camera!

0 upvotes
mrdancer

Add DJI's Phantom drone to the list of consumer-ready, consumer-friendly photocopters. A little more expensive than the Parrot, but has greater range.

As for price points, I didn't think we'd be seeing $25 USB-powered GPS units as early as 2012, yet here we are...

0 upvotes
Jen Yates

This "MeCam" isn't a real product, or even a real prototype. Nowhere do they claim it's close to being ready.

They have no demonstration of their technology, no details on their technology or a shred of evidence that they have any technology at all.

Browse the "Always Innovating" website and you'll quickly realise this product will NEVER see the light of day from these people.

Move on!

0 upvotes
Osman Eralp

Why dismiss the product just because *you* don't think it can be real? There clearly *is* a prototype because it's shown in the video actually flying. That looks like a "demonstration of their technology" to me!

1 upvote
S.A.

Well there you go. When this becomes available, the Facebook lemmings will be able to show every single boring thing they do.
Pathetic. I want to buy stock in this company... Retards give us money.

0 upvotes
RDCollins

So much for nude sunbathing on the roof!

2 upvotes
Ted Williamson

It's great to see life imitating art. Remember the journalists' cameras on Babylon 5? They floated and followed the reporters as they conducted their interviews. This camera could have strong impact on journalism.

0 upvotes
AlanG

This is not very far out there. Numerous inexpensive tiny quadcopters already exist. Several micro quads are in the $50-$100 range. And the larger $300 AR Drone does all of this and more using a smartphone/ tablet or can be modified for RC control.

The micros use standard RC controls so it should be even less expensive to use a cell phone and wifi in place of including an RC transmitter in the package. Adding wifi video is no big deal and some people have rigged up tiny live cameras on them. Just Google - Walkera Ladybird with video camera.

I fly RC multicopters that have live video transmission to video goggles (FPV) and can go quite high and long range. The GoPro Hero 3 weighs less than 3 ounces.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Lars Rehm

yes, of course there are lots of drones around...you won't find many that transmit images to your smartphone for $49 though...plus the follow-mode is something I have not seen anywhere before. But by the looks of it we'll see many more of these drones in the nearer future, they just need to sort out the battery requirements, most of them can only fly for a few minutes. At CES they showed the Parrot drone that moves with music, I captured a video:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/urbandisturbance/8376063460/in/photostream

Comment edited 17 seconds after posting
1 upvote
Bruce McL

"yes, of course there are lots of drones around...you won't find many that transmit images to your smartphone for $49 though..."

The MeCam doesn't transmit images to your smartphone for $49, because it doesn't exist!

When somebody does get this functionality for this price, I'd bet money it won't be the people behind the MeCam. It will probably be one of the companies that are already shipping quadcopters that do video, like Walkera or Parrot. Both of these companies have been shipping products for well over a year, and already have second generation products in the market. They deserve more coverage on Connect than the MeCam, which exists only in fantasy.

"...plus the follow-mode is something I have not seen anywhere before."

I have seen one post on youtube that demonstrates this, but with a much bigger and more expensive quadcopter. It was following a wakeboarder, can't find it now...

0 upvotes
Osman Eralp

@BruceMcL Innovations often come from small companies. Look at the history of Microsoft and Apple. They got started by having a vision and delivering a product that established companies had no interest in or no commitment to develop. Don't count out a small company like Always Innovating just because they are small!

Comment edited 46 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Combatmedic870

the follow mode is sweet.

1 upvote
Humboldt Jim

It's all about Me. Instead of boring others about what you are doing by talking and texting, now you can bore people with "Me videos" It's the Me generation, look at Me, look where Me is, look what Me is doing!

6 upvotes
Tan68

There has already been a 'me' generation. It does seem that people want to use 'me' for another generation. Maybe the word should have been reserved in advance. Where was the label generation app when we needed it...

Happily, there is room for an 'i' generation... iThis and iThat. This might not be as trendy a term. iKnow.

What I think, what I like, what I know, what I want, what I see. I wanna talk about number one, oh my...

etc.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
1 upvote
John Koch

A true altruist, extrovert, or humanitarian does not waste time with photographs or cameras. Most pictures are of interest or value, if at all, only to the person who took them. That said, the mini-copter shots are not just for me-shots.

0 upvotes
Charles C Lloyd

I would prefer one based on a helium dirigible platform.

3 upvotes
Bruce McL

One more deceptive article from Connect. The headline states what the product does. The last sentence states that the product doesn't exist. I don't think this product will ever exist with the price and features mentioned.

It's easy for a manufacturer to add features to, and lower the price of, a product that doesn't exist, all it takes is some space on a website and the willingness to lie.

I would much rather see an original article about the state of the art of low cost drone photography than a post of one manufacturer's fantasy that's been copied from another site.

If you want to learn something about reality instead of fantasy, Walkera's website is a good start. RCGroups forums is another good resource.

http://www.walkera.com/

http://www.rcgroups.com/aircraft-electric-multirotors-790/

4 upvotes
John Koch

Why rant? All product information is spiked with market hype. The sober truth is that we need little of what we buy.
The $49 device could be built, but the battery life and WiFi range would be short, and wind might cause it to tumble or crash. A fine party gimmick, perhaps. If someone pushes the limit and, with some stroke of luck, shoots a flyover of a bike race, fine. But it would be as likely to get lost or crushed.

State-of-the-art RC copters cost plenty more, make lots of noise, and the control is reliable only very close or very high above the user. WiFi has limitations. Without control via satellite and GPS, you could not use them to find lost people, track cattle, scout wild game, or see over a hill or 'round a mountain. If you want to see if Hubby went to play golf or do something else, better to track his phone, credit card, or contradictory alibis. The "law enforcement" grade contraptions cost between six and eight figures.

0 upvotes
Bruce McL

"Why rant? All product information is spiked with market hype."

And all websites exist to shill for nonexistent products?

0 upvotes
Pierre Couture

As if we didn't already have enough problems with a quasi-police state... imagine all the possibilities for spying on others or for being spied upon. No thanks

5 upvotes
slncezgsi

I would not worry much. We have the smallest model from Walkira (Ladybird) and it is quite audible - not quite suitable for spying ;)

0 upvotes
dkord

A little narcissistic aren't we, The MEcam? I'm not interested in seeing myself all over youtube. How about turning the camera around so I can capture my family, friends or pets?

2 upvotes
Tan68

There was an article a few months ago about a camera you wear around your neck. It takes pictures when key words are detected or when light levels change quickly as when you walk into a building. It is supposed to document your life!

It also takes pictures when the accelerometer reaches a threshold. When you start running (i think this was an example...) or when you fall down. etc.

With the helicopter camera, you can create a video and insert stills from the neck cam. Video for context and action pictures of shoes, sky, or your underarm from the neck cam bobbling about on its lanyard.

Recording a barroom fight could be art.

0 upvotes
Al de Wet

Where can I buy one?

0 upvotes
Markus42

For those who can't wait: Parrots AR.Drone is already available. It's heavier and more expensive ($300). It doesn't use voice commands but you steer it with the touchscreen of your mobile/tablet. It also offers streaming video and additionally records the video on an usb memory stick.

Comment edited 41 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
sirthorny

Take a look at the Dragonfly from Techjet. Should be out in 2014. The early adopters and getting them between July and October. Can't wait.

0 upvotes
John Koch

Very likely, the WiFi control will be a bit buggy at ranges over 30 feet. Image transmission may also be capricious. Puffs of wind or tree vegetation may be perilous. Observers will welcome the devices with the same infernal horror that greeted the Montogolfier brothers' ballon. Fly-over shots of river gorges or cityscapes may be a series of "last voyages." The losses, at $50 / camera, will be less than with a big (and noisy) copter-cam, but still hurt.

0 upvotes
Tan68

The comment about last voyages really is funny. Now, I am thinking about Star Trek's VYGER. Maybe with a song by Kansas.

1 upvote
Optimal Prime

Ladies and gentlemen, the future of porn is here!

6 upvotes
Timmbits

what? only 50 bucks? I totally want some!
(I say some, because they look fragile, so I'll need replacements) lol

Comment edited 21 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
YetiYeti

Which weapon systems will it be able to pack?

1 upvote
S_Michaelsen

The camera is it's weapon!!

0 upvotes
wakaba

now I want this with a Gopro HD, going 100mph and following me on the bike downhilltrack...

3 upvotes
John Koch

This migh also be a way to track marathon runners, or be a poorman's Goodyear Blimp for other sports events, except that the battery life may be short and the navigation fickle except at very short range. Add any wind to the equation, and it's up for grabs whether it could track anything.

0 upvotes
wakaba

just a tracker point on me - camera always points at me. 5 min batterylife for downhill biking would be fine...

0 upvotes
RoelHendrickx

I think that watching "Minority Report" will definitely give somebody else another great idea.
Helicopter Cams are so 201X!
I want my own personal thing that moves on its own to crawl through a living environment and scans people's irises!

0 upvotes
Francis Carver

Love the fact that this thingy will be voice-controlled . Thingy is up in the air over Times Square in NYC, and you down there screaming at it "turn left," turn right" and whatnot in noontime Manhattan traffic.

Other thing is, since it's only $49, you surely don't mind losing 5 or 6 of these to vehicular traffic fatalities before you get the hang of how loud you have to scream at it for it to obey your verbal commands.

What will they cook-up next, huh?

1 upvote
rowlandw

I've always wanted my own drone!

2 upvotes
Jeff Greenberg

> Can anyone else see where these devices can become an
> invasion of privacy

Helicopters don't invade people's privacy,
people invade people's privacy.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
1 upvote
junyo

Now give me a couple that live in a hatch on my car's fenders that can fly ahead of me in traffic and let me see when a traffic jam is starting.

4 upvotes
Snaaks

get a life. seriously

1 upvote
marike6

Is your comment directed at the author or a poster? You do know that small helicopters that carry video cameras are used all the time in TV and cinema, don't you?

Such a tool featured in this article is not some weird tool for spying but for filmmaking. At least that's what I though it was for.

1 upvote
John Koch

The core function might be the same as the expensive crane or fly-ove shots we see in movies and on TV, except that it probably has very short range and is unstable if there is wind.

The device would be of very little use for "spying" since the line-of-sight range would be rather short. On the other hand, people with phone cameras take candid shots all the time with impugnity. Thousands of public places or businesses have security cameras in continuous operation. Thank heaven that most of what we do is too boring to be worth spying upon.

0 upvotes
EthanX

John, some pretty 20 year old woman living on a 2nd floor apartment may not be _that_ boring after all...

Plus I don't think she'd be able to hear this tiny drone when she's in the shower - are you sure that any security cameras already exist in this kind of places as well?

1 upvote
GPW

Can anyone else see where these devices can become an invasion of privacy!!!

2 upvotes
Trevor Kloeden

Two words:
"BB Gun"
Invasion solved. :-)

1 upvote
Lenny L

If they ever become widespread (I doubt it) I'll be walking around with a butterfly net.

1 upvote
Tan68

Trevor, on the surface, a BB gun sounds like a viable solution.

Then 99 Luftballons started playing in my mind.

Let's not make the same mistakes...
Think of the kittens.

Comment edited 42 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
JaFO

no need to worry, a gust of wind and they'll crash into the nearest wall ...

Besides, it's not like we don't already have cameras everywhere already, is it ?

0 upvotes
wolfbane

Can you imagine the chaos if several hundred folk are using these in a sports stadium?

The world just gets crazier.

2 upvotes
John Koch

Irony: that there may be more gut impulse to outlaw these little toys than to restrict automatic weapons or high-capacity magazines. Some folks are strangely haunted by hallucinations that they are being watched by "black helicopters" or "space aliens," yet don't care a whit about their credit card, EZ-pass, TV viewing, or web browising histories.

1 upvote
mcshan

Nice to get hit in the eye with one. Can't wait.

1 upvote
villebon

Wow $49! Does it even come with a lens?

0 upvotes
Total comments: 62
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