Sneak Peek: Nixie, the Drone You Wear on Your Wrist

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What It Is: Nixie, the small drone with a built-in HD camera that you wear around your wrist, looks like an oversize watch. But a flick of the arm deploys the unit to shoot video and take stills, and then return to you after a predetermined mission. The creative team behind Nixie says it’s “the first wearable camera that can fly.” Nixie won the Grand Prize at Intel‘s Make it Wearable Contest, earning $500,000, and was a keynote feature at this year’s CES.

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Why We Like It: Nixie offers a more portable drone camera for athletes and adventurers. Four propeller arms wrap around the wrist to lock in place. Move your arm in the direction you want it to fly, and Nixie takes off — the more you extend your arm, the farther it flies (specifics on how far and fast are still in development). Even cooler, it then returns safely to the owner’s wrist. Multiple flight modes offer different missions: In Boomerang mode, for instance, assuming a jogger is moving at a steady pace at the time of release, Nixie will boomerang out and back to the user in his or her new location. Follow-Me mode will allow the unit to move with the user while shooting, even if started from a standstill. Panorama and Hover modes will do just as their names suggest. Plus, you can snap a single photo, a burst, or record a short video (probably less than a minute, according to the creators). The manufacturer says the USB-chargeable battery can power about 50 separate items before it needs more juice.

Nitpick: While the team behind Nixie is insistent the unit’s release is imminent, they’ve been reluctant to offer a definite date, approximate range, or price. But they did tell us: “It’ll cost just a bit more than a GoPro.”


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