Nixie: The New Staple for Every Outdoor Enthusiast, Vlogger, and Tech-Savvy Folks

Remember when selfie sticks became all the rage? It granted people the convenience of using their smartphones to take stunning pictures.

But, what if you could take even better pictures hands-free?

Meet Nixie. A crossbreed between a drone and a wearable camera!

Nixie is an innovative device with a pioneering concept that allows “drones,” “selfies,” and “wearables” to be used in one sentence.

What’s a Nixie?

Nixie is the first wearable drone that can take pictures and videos while up in the air.

Combining the technologies of a GoPro camera and a quadcopter, Nixie is a wearable camera drone that can take off your wrist anytime you want, leaning into the quadcopter technology for flight. It then takes still shots and videos while in the air and comes right back to you.

But, how do you make this happen if, for example, you are hanging from a cliff and want a cinematic shot? One gesture is enough to launch the Nixie from your wrist!

Nixie weighs less than 0.1 pounds, but there’s nothing lightweight about its features. It is more than capable of shooting HD photos and videos and even connecting to your phone.

The inspiration behind the name “Nixie” comes from Germanic mythology and refers to a playful water spirit. True to its name, you can certainly be bolder and more playful while wearing this nifty device and capture priceless moments.

The Making of Nixie

Nixie is the brainchild of Dr. Christoph Kohstall, a rock climbing enthusiast and a postdoctoral student at Stanford. He developed the concept of a wearable camera that could keep up and survive any possible falls while rock climbing.

Dr. Kohstall teamed up with Jelena Jovanovic, a Google engineering lead, and Nixie was created.

The Nixie team competed against more than 500 participants in Intel’s 2014 “Make it Wearable” competition and won the grand prize. They received a whopping $500,000 in funding that would allow the team to further develop their project software and perfect it to release in the market soon.

With additional minds working on this project and more resources and tools at their disposal, Nixie can soon take flight without any bugs or further modifications.

Overall, through the entire process of developing Nixie, Dr. Kohstall and his team were focused on their ultimate goal — to engineer a user-friendly, lightweight, portable, but fully functional drone that can be your personal photographer.

But, Nixie is not just limited to selfies! Dr. Kohstall and his team took its photographic features to new heights (literally!). Nixie also includes motion prediction sensors complete with a boomerang mode, hover mode, follow-me mode, and panorama mode. And don’t forget its video capabilities!

Clearly, Nixie is not your traditional point-and-shoot camera.

How Does Nixie Work?

Once attached to your wrist, Nixie is controlled by gestures and a built-in timer.

Thanks to its quadcopter rotor arms, Nixie is afforded flexibility so it doesn’t feel awkward having it on your wrist. Although this initial design is in its nascent stage, the final product is also supposed to clasp around your wrist without limiting your movement — which is crucial, especially if you are involved in activities that require your full mobility such as rock climbing or even hiking.

This wrist-worn camera drone can easily and seamlessly unfold, expand with a single button, and then fly up in the air to capture overhead shots.

While the prototype has not yet been finalized, this flyable and wearable camera can then be released into the sky anytime you want an image to be captured by a gesture. This motion will then release the clasp on Nixie so it can launch and take off from your wrist or arm.

So, now that it’s up in the air, what happens next?

For the selfie aspect, Nixie will independently take photos and videos of you and whatever you are doing. It is programmed using Intel’s Edison chip, so the device will always have you in sight and avoid obstructions as needed.

Regardless of your activity and your position, Nixie will capture the moment in real-time and in full view.

Nixie Features

Chief Operating Officer of the Nixie project, Jelena Jovanovic, shared specific details about Nixie noting that this flying selfie drone shoots in high-definition and in 1080p.

And if you are curious about the different modes mentioned earlier, when you activate the boomerang mode, Nixie will fly off your wrist, take a photo, and come back to you and snap in place.

The follow-me mode, on the other hand, works more like Nixie being your shadow — following you around in the air wherever you go.

Nixie is also incorporated with motion sensors, so while it is flying, it will track your movements and then film your movements from varying angles and positions. This is all courtesy of its rotating Polaroid camera.

Once you are done, Nixie will snap right back onto your wrist.

How Much Does Nixie Cost?

There is no price tag set for Nixie thus far. It is expected that certain factors will influence the price of Nixie, including the number of units sold.

You can expect the initial price of Nixie to be more expensive than that of GoPro. But, depending on the market and the public response, the price can change.

When Will Nixie Take Flight?

Nixie has not yet been launched in the market as the engineering and development team is continuing to perfect the device. The developers had stated that they wanted to focus on optimizing Nixie’s motors, object navigation, and propellers. They also wanted to miniaturize Nixie.

As of 2022, Nixie still seems to be in its development stages.

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