This Gadget Freak review looks at a Kickstarter campaign for an auto-follow action sports drone and a fashionable ring that will discreetly alert you to an incoming notification on your smartphone.
We will also look at a vintage Gadget Freak of an electrical car with an added range of control based on robotics.
Auto-follow action sports drone
Over on Kickstarter, a group of engineers who are passionate about action sports are more than halfway to their goal to fund the production of AirDog, an easy-to-use personal drone. AirDog is “a small, agile, foldable quadcopter, especially designed for video shooting action sports with the GoPro camera.” It will follow your every move and can withstand rain and freezing temperatures.
To get AirDog to start following you, you have to strap the AirLeash waterproof portable tracker on to your wrist or helmet. The drone will make in-flight calculations to correct its flying pattern and locate the AirLeash, so the camera will be pointed directly toward it.
Landing and takeoff are autonomous. The device will land at the end of your track or return to the takeoff spot if the battery runs low. An alarm will alert your AirLeash if the battery is too low to continue recording.
AirDog has three flight modes — auto follow with six modes, manual remote control, and handheld steadicam. AirDog’s app will give you control over the distance, height, and angle of the device.
The estimated retail value for the AirDog will be $1,500, but with a Kickstarter pledge of $995, the device could be yours around November.
Fashionable wearable technology
Ringly set out to make a piece of wearable technology that could be discreetly integrated into your life, so it made a line of fashionable connected rings out of semi-precious and precious gemstones set in an 18 carat gold-plated brass setting.
Ringly connects to your smartphone and sends you customized alerts through light and vibration. The ring connects to your phone through an app for iOS and Android devices. Through the app, you can customize notifications — phone calls, texts, email, and other apps — to alert you with five different colors or four vibration patterns. The notifications show through a small gemstone on the side of the ring. It can also notify you about items coming up on your calendar, such as meetings. As long as your phone is within 20-30 ft of Ringly, you will receive notifications. To charge the ring, simply place it back in the ring box and plug in a USB outlet.
Ringly expects to ship this fall. Prices range from $195 to $260, depending on the stone you pick. The fall collection includes black onyx, pink sapphire, emerald, and rainbow moonstone.
Vintage Gadget Freak: Super rugged computer-controlled Tyco car
Want to give your Tyco car some extra oomph and control? Matthew Katzenstein took an electrical car and added a range of control based on robotics.
By adding an Arduino, Katzenstein was able to bring more control to the car and increase its speed. Though his initial car is run from a laptop, there are Bluetooth options that offer control of the car from a smartphone. The car is also ruggedized, so it can take drops and crashes and still perform well.
Do you have a Gadget Freak project you would like the world to see? Send a brief description of your gadget and a photo to Assistant Managing Editor Lauren Muskett.
Check out the Best of Gadget Freak — Volume 2 Technology Roundup here to see some of the best gadgets that your peers have created.
When you are finished, be sure to check out the Best of Gadget Freak: Vol. 1.