Always Innovating MeCam is a $49 Voice-Controlled Nanocopter Camera

Earlier today, I’ve posted a list of some interesting sessions for the upcoming ELC 2013, and one of the talk entitled “Lessons Learned in Designing a Self-video Self-hovering Nano Copter” by Gregoire Gentil, Always Innovating CEO, caught my attention. In this presentation, he will talk about the technical challenges the company encountered when they designed MeCam, a self video nano copter to point-and-shoot yourself, that should sell for just $49 retail.

Always Innovating MeCam
Always Innovating MeCam

The MeCam launches from the palm of a hand and hovers instantly. It streams video to an Android or iOS phone or tablet that can be easily shared on social media platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, Google+ and Twitter. There’s no remote control for the MeCam as it’s either controlled by voice commands, or it can be setup to follow you around thanks to the follow-me feature. It can also do panorama shots automatically.

Always Innovating Cortex A9 CoM (Click to Enlarge)
Always Innovating Cortex A9 CoM (Click to Enlarge)

The products is still in development, so the detailed specs are not available, but it’s based on a CPU module with the following characteristics:

  • SoC- Cortex A9 processor @ 1.0 to 1.5 GHz
  • System Memory – 1GB RAM
  • Storage – SD card
  • Connectivity – 2.4GHz/5GHz Wi-Fi and Bluetooth

The device also includes 14 sensors including side object detectors, and makes use of 3 stabilization algorithms (2 auto-pilots and a unique video stabilize) by Morpho. There’s no information about the camera, and battery capacity (and expected battery life), which are kind of important for this type of device. However, those 2 components are flexible, and may vary on different versions. I’m pretty sure it’s running embedded Linux since they will give a presentation at the Embedded Linux Conference. Always Innovating MeCam is said to be based on open source and open hardware, but I don’t expect the design to be open sourced…

I could not find a proper live demo of the MeCam, but Gregoire uploaded a promo video for the device that explains what it’s capable of, including a short peak at the MeCam in action, and that just looks awesome. It could lead you to say “Want!” or even “Shut up and take my money!”.

Always Innovating is a design company, not a manufacturer, so they are currently looking for licensees, and expect the MeCam to hit the shelves in Q1 2014. You can find more information on Always Innovating’s MeCam page.

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