The Parrot Bebop Drone is designed to allow you take awesome pictures and record amazing movies from the height of the skies, offering FPV (First Person View) footage via a dedicated free iPhone or Android app.
The Parrot Bebop Drone roughly measures 12-in (28cm) square and 1.5-in (3.6cm) tall, weighs around 14.5 ounces (that’s a maximum weight of 410 grams), is powered by a rechargeable battery which allows up to 11 minutes of flight at speeds up to 45mph (75KMH) in winds up to 30mph (50KMH). The drone is equipped with a 14MP 180-degree angle of view f2.2 fish-eye lens camera capable of recording full-HD 1080p MP4 movies or taking JPEG and Adobe DNG picture files.
Both, the Parrot drone and the installed camera, can be controlled via the iOs (iPhone, iPad and iPod) or Android FreeFlight Parrot app which connects to your phone or tablet via Wi-Fi and has a range of about 980ft (300 meters). For those looking to extend the flying area of the drone, Parrot offers a Skycontroller addon which features an amplified Wi-Fi radio and 4 antennas to boost the device’s range up to 1.2 miles (2kilometers). The Skycontroller addon runs on Android and allows image output to smartphones, tablets as well as HDMI screens and TVs and VR sets such as the Oculus Rift (via HDMI), Zeiss Cinemizer or Sony FPV.
Dashboard cameras are fast becoming a must-have for drivers. They record footage in case of an unhappy event (read crash), many insurance companies accept them as proofs for identifying accident liability, can be used to record trips for fun and, last but not least, can passively assist you while driving.
There are many car camera models available on the market to choose from, and even more manufacturers are turning to this niche every day. Today I’ll walk you over one of the top mid class DVR models (read packed with features but with a decent price) out-there – The PapaGo GS 330 or USGoSafe 300 as it’s sold in US. If you’re eager to see it in action, scroll down to the bottom of the post and check the 4 trip tests I did (sunny and rainy day as well as clear and rainy night) and an unboxing clip.
I used this camera for the past 2 weeks now and it was a pleasure to test it. It is compact, easy to mount and un-mount from the windshield holder (the holding mechanism was a bit stiff the first few tries, but after a couple of uses it worked perfectly), it’s made of solid black plastic (no danger if you drop it), very simple to operate (basically it starts recording as soon as you hook up the power source or start the engine if the charger is already plugged in) and set up. The four buttons below the LCD serve navigation in the menu as well as to use the emergency recording function or turn the screen ON/OFF.
The beauty of a dashboard camera or car DVR as some call it is that once you did the initial setup there is no need to tweak the settings like you would with a handheld camcorder. It simply stays in it’s place and records what’s in front of the car. That’s it. So, as recording quality counts mostly with a such gadget, I’ll let go through some of the dashcam features below and I invite you to check the video tests at the bottom of the post for the real deal – recording in action!
Let’s dive into it. As this camera is fully loaded with features I’ll list them in bullet-list form for easier following:
A 5MP sensor matched with a F2.0 lens offers great day time recording and performs very well in low light conditions
Three quality recording modes: full HD 1080p recording at 30 fps (frames per second); HD 720p at 60 fps and 30 fps
142 degree wide viewing angle helps recording the entire road in front of the car as well as a good part of the sidewalks (you know … in case some crazy stuntman tries to pull one of his tricks when you pass by and jumps in front of your car!!!)
Connectivity – the GS330 offers a regular HDMI plug, a classic AV plug (output available in PAL and NTSC), Mini USB for power and PC data transfers, Micro SD card as storage unit for the recorded videos
2″ LCD screen for playback videos, live recording monitoring and camera setup
Motion detection mode – leave your car in the parking and if the G Sensor feels someone bump into your car the GS330 will automatically start recording
Stop And Go – this is a cool feature. If your anything like me, your stops at the red light are full SMS and browsing sessions. The Stop And Go feature monitors the car in front of you and when it detects it departed lets you know via a beep that it’s time to let your friends alone and start driving
Lights Reminder – Detects low light conditions and let you know via a beep and a visual display that it’s time to turn the lights ON
Driver Fatigue Alarm – You can set this feature to remind you to take breaks every now and then to avoid driving fatigue
Speed Restriction Signs – this is another cool feature – the car DVR constantly monitors the sides of the road and notifies you whenever it notices a speed sign. The new speed restriction is also displayed on the dashcam’s LCD screen.
Cycle Recording – the dash camera saves the recorded file every 5 minutes and automatically starts a new one. The last 10 files are saved on the Micro SD card and, when recording an 11th file, the oldest one is overwritten. This way, by cycling the files, you always have available the last 10 recording (that’s the last 50 minutes of your driving trip)
Auto Bump Files Copy – this features automatically saves the files when a hit/bump/accident is noted by the camera. This way, if you’re involved in an accident, you’re sure the recorded files are not overwritten by newer files and you can use them in your defense
Emergency Recording and Snapshots – Simply press the Emergency button on the camera and it will record a new fill which will not be included in the cycling recording
Auto Start – If you decide to leave your dashboard camera in the car, simply start your car in the morning and the GS330 starts recording automatically
Mounting Options – Windshield mount (included with the GS330) and Dashboard (a dashbag is needed for this option)
Take a minute and check the test recordings below to see the PapagoUSGoSafe 330 in action and let me know in the comments your take on it or if you have any questions about it.
The Avegant Glyph is a cool piece of gadgetry design to change the way you consume media while on the go. The device is a mobile personal theater which connects to tablets, smartphone and laptops via HDMI cable and plays video, audio content and even video games to the user. The Avegant Glyph features a brand new technology called Virtual Retinal Display which “projects images directly onto your retina, creating sharp, stark images unlike anything you’ve seen before.” One of the coolest features of the Avegant Glyph is the that it can be used as a personal movie theater or, if the situation requires, can be used just as any regular pair of headphones, increasing the usability of the device as it can be used on daily basis not only at home.
The Roku Steaming Stick was designed to offer the same goodies as the Google Chromecast and even more. If Google’s smart stick limits wireless content streaming to whatever Google Chrome can run, the Roku gadget turns your TV into a streaming mean machine and allows you to access over 1,000 TV channels, Netflix, Youtube and over 31,000 movies (new content added constantly). You can even stream Netflix and Youtube content straight from your smartphone or tablet via dedicated apps.
The gadget streams your content in full HD mode via an existing Wi-Fi network, has a slick design (the stick or the USB charging cable will not be visible from the back of your TV) and comes with a remote controller designed to allow you full control of the device.
Available for pre-order with delivery schedule for the second part of April 2014.
With the smartphone explosion in the past years, many thought camcorders will have the same fate as compact digital cameras – forgotten it the bottom of a drawer, seeing their bigger brother (read DSLR) being the star of all important events and their younger sibling (read Smartphones) being the day to day photo and video companion.
Well, things are somehow headed that way, but a new current of niche-designed camcorders is flooding the market to replace the generic, old, family video recorders. Think about the new breed of action cameras …
With this new mentality, Sony introduces the HDR-MV1 to the markets. The Sony camcorder is designed with all the bells and whistles of a modern camcorder and, as it is targeting musicians and niches where audio quality is important (even more important than the actual video recording), it sports an 120-degree X-Y stereo microphones capable of recording in uncompressed linear PCM (48kHz / 16-bit) or compressed using the AAC codec. As an extra, you also get the possibility to connect external microphones or musical instruments to improve the sound quality of your recording.
The Sony HDR-MV1 features a 16mp Exmor R CMOS image sensor, wide-angle 120° Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar lens, full HD (1,920 x 1,080 pixels) recording at 30 fps, built-in WI-FI connectivity with one touch NFC pairing with tablets and smartphones for fast data transfers, micro-HDMI output, multi terminal USB port for charging and data transfers and a 2.7″ LCD screen which allows watching the recordings and adjust various recording settings.
Remember Google Chromecast? The Chromecast is an amazing gadget – it allows you to wirelessly transfer a Google Chrome tab to a TV screen allowing you to watch Youtube clips, browse website and even play browser games on your TV set. While all this is amazing, the Chromecast has a limitation – it can only transfer a Chrome tab to the TV screen – no Firefox tabs, no local movie watching, no local pictures slideshows … you get the point.
Enter Airtame – Airtame is designed to use a regular WiFi connection to make a link between your computer (works on Windows, Mac, Linux, desktops and laptops) and any other screen (including TV sets and PC screens). Simply hook up the Airtame into the HDMI port of any screen, turn on your laptop and choose to share or extend your desktop on the newly added screen. That’s it! As simple as it can get – also check the Sony FMP-X1 – The 4K Ultra HD Media Player and the Roku 3 HD Streaming Box for two other ways to stream content to your TV set.
The Airtame is in project stage at Indiegogo and you can secure one for an early bird price of $89 (delivery set for May 2014).
Dell enters the UHD (Ultra HD) PC screen market with two 4K monitor models – 24″ and 32″. The monitors are targeted to graphic designers doing graphics-intensive work, photographers, gamers, video editors and anyone else who needs impressive resolutions and ridiculously big screen estates for the daily activities – also check the Razer Blade Pro and the Razer Blade gaming laptops we featured earlier.
Here are some technical specs of the Dell UHD screens:
Available sizes: 24″ (model number UP2414Q) and 32″ (model number UP3214Q)