It's the ultimate dream of every GoPro-wielding skier, mountain biker, and sky diver: a video camera so smart it can follow you through the shot, keeping you at the center of every frame, unassisted by human hands. A Utah start-up called Jigabot has built that capability into a robotic mount that aims the camera you already own. Round and squat, like a 4.5-inch, 9.5-ounce yellow submarine, the AIMe (pronounced "Amy") spins horizontally and rotates vertically to track a small remote beacon called the EmIT ("Emmitt"), which the subject wears or carries. The technology is on display at the Outdoor Retailer Winter Market, January 22–25 in Salt Lake City.
Compatible with GoPro, smartphones and just about any action camera, this is easily the most advanced camera mount ever, with a quad-core ARM processor and 2 GB of RAM. One AIMe can track multiple EmIT's, shifting in the order and at the intervals determined by the user through the app. Alternatively, multiple AIMe's can track a single EmIT, shooting from different angles. An AIMe can function as an extra cameraman for video pros shooting events, or it can allow coaches to track a single player throughout a game or a training session.
In other words, the AIMe could revolutionize the way action sports are shot. No more botched angles on your flawless rail grind, losing the frame on a speedy downhill section, or missing your best play on the field. There are limits, of course – this device is a bit too bulky to comfortably fit on a helmet or for your Parrot AR Drone to carry. But we're holding out hope that Jigabot's technology will be taken, reshaped, and sized down to work on any ski helmet or bike handlebars.