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The Pyro Pen looks and works like a real Sharpie market, but it has a tiny button which activates a little flame-thrower. Think of it as a good party trick. Is it safe? Pyro’s secret is that the barrels are filled with ‘flash’ paper. A specially-treated tissue paper that burns extremely quickly and is gone in the blink of an eye. Magicians have used flash paper in their acts for decades to get huge reactions from a tiny burst of fire. Every...

Big Mouth Billy Bass With Alexa

The famous Big Mouth Billy Bass from yesteryear has been modernized with Alexa’s voice assistant built-in (You have to already have an echo device in the home). The Alexa Big Mouth Billy Bass ($39) can respond to voice commands and let you know about the weather, the news, your commute, as well as set alarms, notifications, and more. Guess what you are inevitably getting for Christmas this year?

Last week was a massive user-data breach. This week Facebook enters smart display business with Portal, a wireless speaker, camera, LCD, and Alexa integrated gadget. Great timing Facebook! I think I will take a solid pass on Facebook having an open microphone and camera in my home. I will be massively surprised if this product succeeds at gaining mass user adoption. Ask yourself if you trust Facebook with this type of device in your home. I certainly don’t. There will be two Portal configurations: a 10.1-inch 720p version ($200),...


My two main gripes about RC drones are around battery life and wireless range. Even the new DJI’s with all of their improvements in battery life and range, still have me wrapping up flights in under 30 minutes. If the tech keeps improving I may not have to wait too much longer. Fingers crossed.

Or… I could buy a Parrot DISCO today – swap out some batteries and mod the wireless signal to work over the 4G LTE cellular network. That means, flight times over an hour with range only limited by battery life and cellular signals. The mod is from UAVPAL and can be found here.

Impossible US-1 Drone Clear

Impossible Aerospace claims they have a drone hitting the market in Q4 of 2018 with a two hour flight time. The main structure of the US-1 is full of batteries which is why they have longer than average flight times.

The Impossible US-1 ($7,500 for basic and $9,500 for thermal) comes in a few flavors. Most of the differences are around the camera type (FLIR).

Flight details and telemetry are still unknown but we do have some specs. Details after the break.  (more…)

Spry Waterproof Drone and Remote Control

As much as I love the DJI drones  , they still aren’t waterproof, they don’t float, and they certainly can’t submerge and survive. I have lost two DJI quads to the water and believe me, the feeling sucks.

Spry Submersible Drone

Well this KickStarter team hopes to solve a few of these problems with their orange drone, Spry. Spry flies, floats, and can even submerge. Everything on the drone is waterproof including the remote control. Water performance won’t be great (wireless signals don’t do well in water) but the drone is pretty quick in the air at 43 mph. The camera is 4k at 30 fps and stills are snapped at 12 megapixels.

Other Spry drone features include; Hold Position, Auto Follow, Object Orbit and Return to Pilot’s Position. Check it out at KickStarter. More pictures and video after the break. (more…)

DJI Mavic 2 ProDJI has done it again. They just released two new drones, the Mavic 2 Pro ($1,449) and Mavic 2 Zoom ($1,249). Some of the technology is the same, and some is massively improved.

The Mavic 2 Pro comes with a Hasselblad camera, 1″ CMOS Sensor, adjustable aperture, 10-bit Dlog-M, 10-bit HDR video, and hyperlapse (time lapse shots). Long story short, a badass camera.

Both new Mavic 2 drones have longer flight times (up to 31 minutes), a longer range (up to 8km), full omnidirectional obstacle sensing (about time!), ActiveTrack 2.0, and more.

Damn you DJI. Just when I think the competition is catching up your technology takes another leap forward. My credit card number is _ _ _ _…

Video of the Mavic 2 in action after the break. (more…)

Posted on Aug 20 2018 - 10:30am by Russ
#0

Parrot Anafi DJI competitor

Finally a drone worth comparing/competing with the DJI models (Spark, Mavic Air). The Parrot Anafi is a great drone that is both portable and capable. Instead of talking to all of the points with this drone I will highlight some of the cool/new features and some of the negatives (not too many).

New stuff/Cool stuff –
– 4K HDR camera with 2.8x lossless digital zoom
– 180-degree tilting gimbal
– No props in the video frame (problem with DJI copters)
– 25 minute flight time
– Quiet prop wash for quieter flights
– Automated flight modes for following objects, etc.
– Ultra portable and just 320g
– USB-C charging means no more bulky chargers
$699 price tag

Negatives – 
– The “real life” range isn’t as good as the DJI
– No obstacle avoidance

Great video comparing specs/usability with that of the DJI Mavic Air after the break. (more…)

Nikon-Coolpix-P1000

I thought I wanted a DSLR camera but didn’t want to have to sell my kids to add a lens here and there. So, I started checking out the slightly more compact Nikon COOLPIX P1000 which is what I will call DSLR-like. The zoom lens on the COOLPIX P1000 ($996) is insane at 24-3000mm (125x).

Imagine being able to zoom far beyond the reach of standard telephoto lenses, to capture not just the moon, but the craters, peaks and valleys of its surface. Imagine being able to view the International Space Station in flight, even the rings of Saturn—not with a telescope, but with a one-of-a-kind Nikon camera. Introducing the COOLPIX P1000, the most extreme zoom Nikon ever, and a game-changer for birders, sports and wildlife enthusiasts, travel photographers and even those aspiring to venture to the moon and beyond without leaving their backyard.

Video showing some of this awesome cameras capabilities after the break. (more…)

Let me just get this part out of the way, I am currently a fan of Google’s Nest line of cameras. They are proven, have fair priced recording options, and work outdoors (the outdoor version of course). That doesn’t mean there isn’t room for more competitors. While good, the Nest cameras have plenty of places they can improve. Enough on that for now. Amazon is having their 2018 prime day sale and have cut the cost of their Amazon Cloud Cam...