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Nixie is a wearable that flies off your wrist

Meet Nixie, the wristband that acts as your own personal airborne camera. With a flick of your arm the device takes off, turns around to capture a photo of you in action, then comes back to you. According to project manager Jelena Jovanovic, it’s able to “take the picture that you wish you had always had.”

The device is being developed as part of Intel’s Make It Wearable Challenge, a competition between 10 teams of entrepreneurs and developers to create “the next big idea in wearable technology.” The prototype wearable uses Intel’s new Edison system-on-a-chip to power much of its functionality. The winner of the challenge will be announced in November.

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“You should be able with a gesture to tell the quadcopter to unfold,” says Nixie team leader Christoph Kohstall. “Then it’s going to take off from your wrist. It knows where you are, it turns around, takes a picture of you, comes back. You can catch it from the air and put it back on your wrist.”

Imagine being able to set off your own personal drone when you’re half-way up a rock face, for example, or maybe you just want a wide shot of you and your friends without someone’s arm in the way. Whoever takes home the first prize from Intel’s challenge will pocket $500,000 to develop their idea further.

Interestingly, the original idea was for a flying pair of glasses, which doesn’t sound quite as appealing as what Nixie has now become. Among the other finalists announced by Intel are a low-cost robotic hand, a sports and activity necklace called Vumbl, and a Snowcookie that provides a “sixth sense” alert system for skiers when they’re out on the slopes.

According to its developers, Nixie will include a remote control device as well as a variety of different modes to let you capture movies and panoramas alongside conventional photos. You can find out more about the finalists in Intel’s competition on the Make It Wearable website.