Drones Made Easy

OMG, this is awesome.


This Lily Camera Drone is “throw and go” and simply lands in your hand. 


You can set it to follow you–almost like a guardian angel– or to lead you where you need to go. 


Records video, sound, can do slow motion, and takes photos.


It has a tracking device.


It’s waterproof.


Awesome for extreme sports or personal surveillance.


Would like to be able to communicate with it by voice command, and also see what it sees and hear what it hears with augmented reality glasses or on a smartphone or wearable.


Finally, if only it would come with a laser to zap anybody or anything bad that may come at us–that could be reassuring. 


Costs = $619 and ships in May 2016.


That was easy.  😉

Those Are Some Prosthetics

Wow, prosthetics have come a long way–these are tough!

This video from Biodapt shows their high-performance Moto Knee being used in a variety of action sports including snowmobiling, motor biking, mountain biking, horseback riding, water skiing, snow boarding, and jet skiing.

Bloomberg BusinessWeek (11 July 2013) explains how the Moto Knee has hydraulic components that provide “tension and range of motion for intense physical activity.”

They cost around $6,000 and don’t replace the regular walking version, but Mike Schultz, the developer understands the need for these advanced prosthetics having lost a leg himself in a 2008 competitive snowmobiling accident.

I think it’s wonderful that these high-tech devices are being made available for disabled people to be able to do a wide range of exciting activities.

My hope is that as the technology continues to advance that we can have–like a person’s legs–one prosthetic device that is adaptive for use in every day use as well as more intense activities and sports.

It is hard to imagine people voluntarily trading their body parts for mechanical implants–but one day, in the not too distant future, these mechanical limbs will not only be a substitute for repair of real body parts, but will actually provide some superior capabilities–they will be used for body augmentation–and thus even be desirable by those who haven’t lost limbs.

What gives a leg up to prosthetics, as Hugh Herr in the Wall Street Journal (12 July 2013) put it is “that the designed parts of the body can improve in time, whereas the normal body, the biological body, degrades in time.”

With regenerative medicine and replacement parts by design, more than ever our physical bodies will be just the transient vessel that houses our heart, mind and soul–that which really makes us, us. 😉

Death Biking

Death Biking

This was unbelievable–as I am climbing this very rocky hiking trail, out pops a bicyclist zooming down over the rocks.

I have seen people run the trail–crazy enough–and I always imagine someone falling on the sharp rocks and basically splitting their head open.

But this guy–and 2 more of his buddies followed–were actually mountain biking over these rocks.

I have no clue how they do it–although going down must be easier than going up.

When those wheels hit the rocks, you are taking your life in your hands that the bike doesn’t just smash into it and flip right over.

By the time, the 3rd guy was flying past, I saw that he had his butt raised off the bumpy ride and was sort of standing on the pedals trying to keep this thing from going down.

It is amazing to me the crazy, risky things that people do.

Is it for the thrill, the challenge, just to be cool, or what?

I can definitely see how you could get an adrenaline high from this, but it could just be the last fun you ever get.

Anyway, awesome ride for those that can stomach it. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Action Video Extravaganza

Action Video Extravaganza

This is an awesome action video–5 minutes and totally worth it.

It feels like being inside a single player shooting game.

I first saw this video on Facebook posted by a colleague as a interesting advertisement for Go Pro wearable helmet cameras, often used for capturing extreme sports activities.

Now we are going from helmet cams to Google glasses.

With the new Google Glass coming out this year for $1,500–that mimics most smartphone functions including taking pictures and videos just by a simple verbal command such as “Okay Glass, record a video” or “Okay Glass, take a picture,”– things are going to get a lot dicier.

While this type of James Bond action doesn’t happen everyday for most of us, if we can capture every day events like these –it will be both awesome from a recall, sharing, entertainment, study and scientific perspectives and scary from a privacy one.

If Google Glass really works as it’s envisioned, it is going to revolutionize how we interact with the world and each other–get ready augmented reality, here we come. 😉

From Adventure Photography to Lifelogging

Felix Baumgartner jumped from a helium-filled balloon lifted space capsule, one week ago today, to set a skydiving record from 24 miles up and reaching the speed of 834 miles per hour.

On Felix’s helmet was a GoPro video camera to capture this memorable event.

GoPro is the leader in wearable, waterproof, shockproof videocameras and has an especially strong market in action and extreme sports.

Their newest helmet-mounted camera is the HD HERO3 (available 17 October 2012), and it continues the significant trend to ever smaller, lighter, and more powerful cameras technology.

I like this video they put out showing the high resolution and exciting video taken while doing activities from surfing to mountain climbing, deep sea diving, flying, kayaking, and more.

I have a feeling that these cameras are going to make a leap from capturing adventure photography to being used for lifelogging and lifejournaling–where people capture major life events on a wearable camera, and in some extreme cases–they try to capture virtually their whole life!

As someone who has blogged now, thank G-d, for 5 1/4 years, I greatly value the ability to capture important events, share, and potentially influence–and lifelogging with discrete, wearable camera technology can take this even further. 

Of course, with this technology, we need the ability to search, discover, and access the truly memorable moment–those that are meaningful to you and can have a deep and lasting impact on others–and let’s face it, despite the rise of Reality TV, most of life is not quite a Kardashian moment. 😉

It sort of reminds me of the Wendy’s commercial, where the old lady asks from a fictitious competitor, “where’s the beef?” With lifelogging, blogging, or other capture and sharing technologies, the beef had better be there (people’s time is valuable)!

There are billions of people to reach–capture, reflect, share…in writing and with pictures–then truly, “The pen is mightier than the sword.”

Military-Style ATV For Pleasure Or Kicking Butt

 

This is a very cool all-terrain vehicle (ATV) modeled after the Segway, that is built with military or extreme sports in mind. 

According to Bloomberg Businessweek, the DTV Shredder runs on tank treads, has a motocycle throttle, and the mobility of a skateboard. 

The Shredder is made by BPG Werksand can go up to 30 miles per hour, has a three-foot turning radius, can haul up to 800 pounds over rocky terrain, and costs only $4,000. 

This is a cost-effective, energy-efficient, rugged transportation mule can carry people, equipment, or supplies through friendly or hostile terrain, and it can even be used through a remote controller. 

A precursor transit device from this company was the Uno–a very cool looking, self-balancing, all-electric unicycle–that won Intel’s International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) in 2007, was on the cover of Popular Science Magazine(2008), and secured $1.25 million from angel investors. 

When we talk about mobile technology, everyone first thinks of smartphones and tablet computers, but new and improved modes of personal transportation can also be innovative and high-tech with applications for everything from snowmobiling to beach patrol and hunting to overseas deployments. 

End of the world scenarios come to mind too–with a mobile device like this…outmaneuver, outwit, outlast. 

Of course, having to stand for the whole ride can be a bummer, and an open ATV certainly does not imply all-weather, so practicality limits its usefulness, but this is still my cool gadget of the week for fighting or for fun. 😉

Realizing Bubble Boy

Bubble_boy

Cool innovation out of Sweden, as an alternative to regular bike helmets, there is now the Hovding.

An “invisible” nylon air bag helmet that is worn stylishly around the neck and inflates only when the it detects a pending accident.

The wearable device has a rechargeable accelerometer and gyroscope for sensing accidents, and it can inflate with helium in just a tenth of a second.

It also has a “black box” that records that last 10 seconds of the accident, so that investigators can analyze what happened.

The helmet shell for around the neck comes in a variety of styles and colors, and it costs between $450 and $600 dollars, but  is not usable after a single inflatable event.

While many people don’t want to wear crash helmets because they are either unattractive or uncomfortable, this new inflatable helmet provides style and comfort, and most importantly head protection.

The developers see other potential uses for skiing, horseback riding, epileptics, and the elderly.

I wonder about future applications for even more extreme sports and activities like motocycle riding, sky diving, and even race-car driving–people could do the things they enjoy, more naturally, without the clunky helmet, but still have the protection they need.

Also, I believe that the inflatable helmet has potential to be expanded into a more complete body guard package–like an invisible protective shield ready and waiting to be deployed all around a person in case of an accident, attack, or other disaster scenario.

Like the idea of Bubble Boy, who lives in a sterilized dome to protect him because of a compromised immune system, people of all types may one day be able to have a protective bubble that keeps them out of harm’s way.

Technology, such as the smartphone, is moving from mobile to wearable, and high-tech helmets too have the potential for a big lift–stay tuned for yours. 😉

(Source Photo: herewith attribution to Geoffery Kehrig)