Drone’s will be making the news more and more this year. With everything from having to register drones in the USA to legal rulings involving drones, last year had everything. One topic of particular interest was not the before or after of a drone flight, but how would you stop one in use? A team at Michigan Tech think they may have an answer in their Drone Vs. Drone concept.
After the news that snipers were protecting crowds at the World Cup from drones, Mo Rastgarr of Michigan Tech University thought there had to be better ways. Along with a team of students, Rastgaar started building in late 2014, taking only two months to build their first prototype system.
The new system involves a drone who is equipped with a net gun. An in flight a drone is a dangerous thing, and while progress has been made in taking down drones mid-flight, such as with the anti-drone rifle, taking down drones tend to mean you have falling machinery. The net gun system Rastgaar and his team have created would allow a drone to not only be immobilized but also taken away, possibly for the police to then use for tracking down the owner.
In the video below you can see the concept in action, they even included the invading drone’s viewpoint just to add a little Hollywood to the video.
While not the first anti-drone equipped drone, this prototype system does seem to have some promise from the video and with places like Tokyo creating a squad just for anti-drone responsibilities, you can tell that people are getting more and more concerned about the misuse of this technology. Events like the power cut in Hollywood that was caused by a drone showing how little people have to accept responsibility for their use for this technology.
GoPro have unveiled their latest video camera which adopts a stunningly small form factor. The Hero 4 Session is 50% smaller and 40% lighter than previous Hero products whilst maintaining 1440p 30 fps and 1080p 60 fps recording capabilities. Additionally, the device is up to 10m waterproof and able to capture single photos, Time Lapse photos at set intervals from 0.5 to 60 seconds, and Burst photos at 10 frames per second through an 8MP sensor.
The built-in battery offers approximately 2 hours of record time which should be more than enough to capture memorable moments in extreme environments. Other superb features include a panoramic mode with a cinematic field of view, one touch recording, dual microphones and automatic image rotation. I’m pleased to see the Hero 4 Session support every unique mount out there from headgear to arm tripods which makes it a small but very flexible piece of recording apparatus.
Currently, the product is available for pre-order and should be in stock on the 12th July. However, the MSRP of £329.99 might be a little high to most consumers. There is some added value through the editing package which allows you to make professional content without relying on 3rd party software. The Hero 4 Session encourages sharing creations over social networks. This can be done directly on the device through the integrated Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
While the compact size is magnificent and incredibly useful to record fast motion video, I’m not sure if the camera will have a widespread appeal.
Microsoft just released the Android beta app for “Office Lens”, an app that allows you to capture notes, business cards, receipts, and other printed material to be saved as a digital file. The app can also capture things like whiteboards and save them as a digital file, a useful tool for capturing meeting notes in the office.
The written text will be recognized with OCR, transforming what was written into text that you can edit. Using the app is very simple, and to start you just open the app and use the camera to capture your image. The app takes care of the rest by framing, cropping, and enhancing the image. The resulting file can be saved to your gallery, Word, PowerPoint, OneDrive, OneNote, or as a PDF. To get started with the app you will need to join the beta community on Google+ and sign up to test the app.
Through Kickstarter and Indiegogo we seen endless numbers of projects that need funding and whilst some of them do seem to be a bit bizarre or too simple to create, there are a select number that stand out from the crowd. Panono is just one of the select that grab the attention of a number of people and they’re asking for your support to get the ball rolling.
Panono is a revolutionary panoramic camera that is able to take a full 360° photo when thrown up in the air – at the moment it is about to fall back down to earth. In side the compact ball, 36 tiny cameras with a total resolution of 72MP are paired with a sensitive accelerometer which calculates the speed at which the ball is going up and therefore when it will be stationary before it falls back down to earth. At the peak of its ascent, all 36 cameras simultaneously take an image and as soon as the camera is back in your hand, it can simply send the captured panoramic photo to your smartphone for viewing. After this the photo can be sent to the cloud, where it is stitched together and archived ready for sharing to your friends and family – giving you a photo that really captures the moment.
The innovative concept originally started out a couple of years ago when a prototype system known as the ‘Throwable Panoramic Ball Camera’ make a debut on YouTube instantly grabbing a large number of hits and followers. Moving towards today and after some tweaks and tunes have been applied, the 300g plastic ball is making it way through the fund-raising stages on Indiegogo, where the project team are asking for a total pledge of at least $900,000 to be made. At this current moment, the project as stirred the interest of around 400 people and with 51 days to go before the campaign ends, the project has raised nearly $200,000.
You can find more information on the project on their website here and if you’re willing to back the project, you can do so by heading over to their fund-raising campaign on Indiegogo here.
Hauppauge! are the first name I think of when it comes to digital recording devices, they’ve already set them selves up a massive fan base in the gaming community with their gaming specific PVR devices, but they’ve also gone a strong heritage in connection video signals through your computer, something that has served them well in the world of capturing video game footage and streaming software.
Gaming is huge, you might have noticed? Yet the biggest thing that has changed about this gaming generation is definitely social media and love it or hate it, you can’t really ignore it. Facebook and Twitter have become hubs for gamers to converse and share information, this is backed up even further by sites like YouTube that allow gamers to share their greatest moments, or Twitch.TV and UStream that allow people to watch live videos of you playing your favourite games in walkthrough videos, demonstrations, or even for those who compete in eSports and pro gaming.
Yet to do all this stuff on current gen home consoles you need some special hardware, something to act as a bridge between your TV, console and your computer that will allow you to take screen shots, capture video and stream your footage online and that is exactly where the Hauppauge! HD PVR 2 Gaming Edition Plus steps in, so lets get straight to the good stuff and see exactly what this device has to offer.
The first thing we notice about the PVR2 is that is comes nicely packaged in a fairly compact box, bright colours and a rather cool graphic on the front of the box is obviously made to appeal to a gaming audience with its alien monster motif. There is a decent looking photo of the product too as well as some technical details on the front and the side, but we’ll take a closer took at those shortly.
A few months ago I took a look at a product that entered a new line on to the list of different products that I’ve looked at over time. This is namely AVerMedia’s RECentral Live Gamer HD – a PCI Express based hardware encoder that takes the effort out of video capture with a simple plug and play installation and a instant record button that connects via USB.
Following on from this bit of kit that ticked all the boxes for me, AVerMedia’s R&D teams have been busy working away, thinking a little outside of the box and this brings us forward to what I’ve got to look at today.
Whilst the PCI-e based capture card is a great bit of kit, there is one slight downfall (if you was to see it as one) in that if you’re capturing footage from say a games console such as the Xbox 360 or PS3, you need to have your PC nearby in order to capture the footage. If you’re at a LAN event such as Multiplay’s Insomnia series or you’re popping round to your mates house for a gaming session, the prospect of having to lumbar an extra system around isn’t exactly going to rate well and the thought of having a compact portable alternative is music to the ears for many gamers. Fear not as this is exactly what AVerMedia have done.
Gearing the LGP for a whole heap of different sources, AVerMedia include quite an extensive set of cables with the device. These include (from left to right) component A/V, a short HDMI to HDMI, USB, 2.5mm to 3.5mm audio and a PS3 to A/V cable. On top of all this, there is a carry case for the recorder, which I have to say feels really nice with its suede texture and also a 3-month subscription to XSplit for live broadcasting. Drivers and software can be downloaded from the AVerMedia product page, meaning you will always have the latest set of drivers when you come to install.