Sony’s ‘wearables’ offer an array of creative possibilities
By Abdullah Al-wali on January 16th 2015
'Wearables', as they’ve been dubbed, aren’t the new or innovative technologies that advertisers would have us believe, in fact they first surfaced in the 1970’s, as highlighted by Marco Donnarumma when we interviewed him in 2014. But, in recent years, corporate tech giants have steadily introduced wearables to the marketplace, mainly for fitness tracking, or to compliment existing technology, such as the smart watch. Now, post-commodification, the technology of wearables is being re-explored for possibilities that go beyond cardio monitoring and social networking.
Sony engineers Peter Bartos, Jonas Hellström and Alexander Najafi started a project in their spare time. They created an Android app that uses the SmartEyeglass prototype and SmartWatch 2 as control devices for a flying drone. Last year it seemed like plenty of filmmaking enthusiasts had invested in drones for aerial footage for their creative projects, we witnessed many of them scooting around our heads. To those enthusiasts this gadget will be a welcome addition to their set-up.
The flying drone used is a Parrot AR.Drone 2.0. The SmartWatch 2 accelerometer is used to provide control signals for flying the drone, and the display is used for more control inputs (for example, swiping will trigger the drone to do rolls in the air). On the SmartEyeglass prototype, flight information and live video from the camera on the drone are displayed.
The developers kindly put together some background information and a tutorial to help you set up your own version of this project.