Nixie, the work of team leader Christoph Kohstall, project manager Jelena Jovanovic, and team member Michael Niedermayr, is a flexible, lightweight quadcopter designed to be worn on the wrist until needed. As Kohstall explains in the project’s finalist introduction video, “you should be able, with a gesture, to tell the quadcopter to unfold. Then, it’s going to take off from your wrist,” and, with guidance from its Intel Edison chip, “it knows where you are, it turns around, [and it] takes a picture of you.” When the user is satisfied with the shoot, Kohstall adds, the gadget “comes back; you can catch it from the air, and put it back on your wrist.”
A range of camera-equipped quadcopters have been on the market for some time, but Kohstall realized, with the help of his team, that the next step toward convenience and an improved user experience would be making a quadcopter drone wearable. In the team’s videoed interview, Jovanovic remembers early brainstorming moments:
Christoph came over one day, and he said, ‘I have a new idea for a quapcopter. And he looked at me with this mischievous grin, and he said, ‘I want to make your quapcopter wearable.’ And I thought, what?
The other wearable finalist projects include an “emotional prosthesis” gadget, an open (source) bionic hand and even an infant-monitoring chip called Babyguard. The ten teams of young entrepreneurs and developers selected as finalists are now developing their proposals into working, marketable prototypes with Intel’s help. Winners will be announced during the project’s final event on Nov. 2 and 3, with just one team claiming top honors and the $500,000 Make It Wearable Grand Prize.