When it comes to action sports, the most captivating moments can be missed with a blink of an eye.
A few years ago, the GoPro camera revolutionized the way we viewed these moments by giving us perspective from an athlete’s point of view. Now, it appears the way we capture these breath-taking moments is changing once again. A diverse team of software developers, engineers, and management professionals has created a new wave of technology that combines the GoPro camera with drone machinery. Introducing the Airdog, a quad-copter with a GoPro attachment that will automatically follow your exact movement and trajectory, while maintaining its position in a preset distance and altitude from you.
So how does it work?
It would seem as if a complex piece of equipment, such as this one, would be tricky to operate, but that’s not the case. It’s actually quite simple. An “AirLeash” controls the whole system. This piece of equipment is essentially a remote control that attaches to the wrist, which allows the operator to preset the exact position for the aerial camera. The strap on this remote is very flexible. It can be attached to a bike handle, backpack, helmet; whichever place is most convenient. The interface of the “AirLeash” is simple, and with it, the user can adjust the angle of the shot, the altitude, and the distance. The range from the “AirLeash” to the “AirDog” can extend up to 1,000 feet and has an operational ceiling of 140,000 feet above sea level. Once the settings are adjusted, the rest is automatic. One touch of a button and the aerial camera will follow the “AirLeash” at the exact distance and altitude you set it to.
The “AirDog” is very durable. It can resist wind speeds up to 28 knots and it was also constructed to be weather resistant. It weighs four pounds and the parts fold up, so it can be easily transported. In addition, the “AirDog” contains a protective housing that should protect it from any harm when it’s airborne. It also has a built-in gyroscope for stability, so the camera won’t shake when it’s capturing a movement. Apart from the durability of the aerial camera, it is also energy efficient. It uses an interchangeable 14.8 V lithium ion battery, which translates to 10-20 minutes of flight time, depending on flight speed. The “AirLeash” is durable as well; it’s waterproof, so surfers can wear it on their bodies.
The AirDog has only been used in action sports, such as mountain biking, sport climbing, and kite surfing, just to name a few. But this is a fairly new creation; and AirDog just may be scratching the surface of potential applications in the sports world.
For instance, the NFL could incorporate this machine during a game to give the fans a perspective that they have never seen before. Imagine watching a play develop from a bird’s eye view of the field or catching the reaction from the fans after a game-winning touchdown is scored.
Another mainstream sport that could utilize this type of technology would be professional basketball, in a game where players, like LeBron James and Russell Westbrook, capture the essence of beauty by effortlessly flying through the air to deliver a slam-dunk. These moments could be captured from the best angles with this innovative piece of machinery.
The “AirDog” has already shown its capabilities when it comes to action sports. But the product definitely shows potential for growth in other areas of the sporting world. Certain media outlets already do a nice job of broadcasting televised sports, so the barrier for entry would probably be difficult for a product like this. It will be interesting to see if the big sports leagues or associations, such as the NFL and the NBA, decide to incorporate a product like this, and whether or not it benefits or harms the experience of the games.
For now, action sports participants can use the AirDog to show off their skills and creativity from a bird’s eye view.