It's been a while since we've wandered around the web, looking at some cool new tech. Here's a roundup of some things that have come across my Twitter feed lately.
I find it very interesting that the word "drone" appears nowhere on the Vantage Robotics website
. This is likely an intentional strategy to distinguish Snap from its competitors, and perhaps to also distance itself from some of the negative connotations attached to the term. Regardless of the reason, the description of this device as a flying camera seems to be completely accurate, as it's all about the quality and controllability (versatility?) of Snap's video capabilities.
And for an unskilled pilot like me, the fact that it's held together by magnets so it's not destroyed by the inevitable crash is a huge selling point!
Zeiss Smartphone Lenses
One of the most vibrant sub-industries to arise in response to the increasingly high quality of phone cameras is the creation of lenses to extend the capabilities of those cameras. For example, a company called Action Life Media
sells an adapter contraption that lets you use your Canon or Nikon SLR lens with your phone. It makes for a ridiculous-looking rig, and sort of defeats the ease of use and portability that make phones the most popular photographic devices in the universe, but I suppose there's a market for such add-ons.
The high-end lens maker Zeiss obviously agrees, since it's rolling out a suite of iPhone lenses
(macro, telephoto, and macro) that attach to the phone via a special bracket. If you know anything about cameras, you know the respect that Zeiss glass commands, and it's hard to think of these lenses as gimmicks. Pricing has not yet been announced, but they won't come cheap.
Danny MacAskill - Mad Cycling Skillz
If there's a better trials bicyclist in the world than Danny MacAskill, I've never heard of him (or her). The preceding video is simply the latest in a long series, every one of which will make you rethink what's possible for a bunch of metal tubes suspended between two rubber circles. I get sweaty palms just watching it.
MacAskill rides bikes made by a company called Inspired
. He also provides consultation to the company for its higher-end bicycles such as the Skye Team Bike
(named after the Scottish Island Danny calls home). So, even if you can't ride like him (and you can't), you can have the bike that leaves you with no excuses other than your simple lack of skill (and guts). Oh, and it will also leave you several thousand dollars poorer
OK, so this isn't a tech-related item, but it's always good to end a post with an absurdity. If you haven't been in the presence of a physician after they've had a few drinks, you may not be aware of the new healthcare diagnostic codes...all 68,000 of them. This is but one of the most ridiculous of the new codes; here's a list of some others
. And be sure to buy your doctor the next round.