Look, up in the sky! It’s a kite! It’s a camera! It’s the Fotokite Phi drone!

Cameras drone are everywhere these days but for the majority of everyday users, you can only get so excited about a new model that is slightly smaller, iteratively faster and offers a minutely longer amount of flight time.

As cool as all of that stuff undoubtedly is, it’s less revolutionary than evolutionary.

Thank goodness, then, for the Fotokite Phi — a new type of GoPro-compatible camera-carrying drone which goes back to the drawing board and tries something new. Previously the subject of a successful Indiegogo campaign, Phi is officially launching to new customers on Tuesday, carrying a special holiday price of $249.

“What we’re releasing out into the wild is the world’s first tethered consumer drone system,” CEO Chris McCall told Digital Trends. “Not only is it very accessible from a price perspective, but it works unlike any other drone you’ve seen before.”

As it happens, “tethered consumer drone” doesn’t truly describe Phi. Instead, this foldable quadcopter is part drone and part kite.

“The system is completely self-flying,” McCall continued. “It’s like a kite which produces its own wind. The interaction between the user and the Fotokite is quite a bit simpler than a traditional drone that a person has to operate and orientate in 3D space. With this solution, you’re physically connected to it which makes the Phi far more intuitive to navigate.”

By making a tethered drone that works through gesture controls, a lot of the problems with traditional airborne camera systems (think flyaways, reliability on GPS signals, and difficulty flying indoors) are alleviated. Instead of relying on joystick controls or camera tracking algorithms, Fotokite can be maneuvered using nothing more complex than the force of your wrist.

You can even pass it from one person to the other just as easily as handing a kite to your friend. Should Phi somehow become accidentally untethered, the drone will automatically begin a controlled descent and power off upon landing.

As noted, you will need to add your own GoPro to use this drone as it’s designed, but as ultra-portable drone-based filming solutions go, this certainly looks like it is worth a second take.

Product Review

Yuneec’s Mantis Q will make you wish you bought a DJI drone

Yuneec’s high-end drones are arguably the ones to beat in terms of flight control, design, and their photographic capabilities. But the company has struggled to make a low-end drone that’s worth buying, and the Mantis Q is proof of that…
Home Theater

Here's a handy guide to mirroring your favorite devices to your TV screen

A vast arsenal of devices exists to allow sending anything on your mobile device (or PC) to your TV. Our in-depth guide shows you how to mirror content from your smartphone or tablet to the big screen.
Emerging Tech

Wish you could fly? You totally can with these top-of-the-line drones

In just the past few years, drones have transformed from a geeky hobbyist affair to a full-on cultural phenomenon. Here's a no-nonsense rundown of the best drones you can buy right now, no matter what kind of flying you plan to do.
Emerging Tech

The 10 most expensive drones that you (a civilian) can buy

OK, these drones may be a bit beyond your budget: Check out the most expensive drones in the world, from industrial giants to highest-end filming tools.
Emerging Tech

SeaBubbles’ new electric hydrofoil boat is the aquatic equivalent of a Tesla

What do you get if you combine a Tesla, a flying car, and a sleek boat? Probably something a bit like SeaBubbles, the French "flying" boat startup which offers a fresh spin on the hydrofoil.
Emerging Tech

We tried a $500 electronic dab rig, and now we can’t go back to normal vaporizers

Induction heating is the future of cannabis vaporizers. Loto Labs wowed us with what likely is the best concentrate vaporizer on the market today. With a $500 price tag, it's expensive, but it should definitely be your next dab rig.
Emerging Tech

Israel will launch world’s first privately funded moon mission tomorrow

This week will see the world's first privately funded lunar mission launch. Israel's first mission to the moon will be launched aboard SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket on Thursday, February 21.
Emerging Tech

FDA warns about the dangers of anti-aging blood transfusions

It turns out injecting old people with blood from healthy youngsters may not be the answer to health rejuvenation. That’s according to the FDA, which says such claims are dangerous junk science.
Emerging Tech

Bees can do arithmetic, setting the scientific community abuzz

A new study has found something remarkable: Bees can do basic arithmetic. Researchers showed that bees could use colors as representations for numbers and then use those colors for addition and subtraction.
Emerging Tech

DeepSqueak is a machine learning A.I. that reveals what rats are chatting about

Want to know what rats are squeaking about? You'd better check out DeepSqueak, the new deep learning artificial intelligence developed by researchers at the University of Washington.
Health & Fitness

Immune cell discovery takes us one step closer to a universal flu vaccine

A group of international researchers have made a discovery which could take us one step closer to the universal, one-shot flu vaccine that people around the world have been dreaming of.

NASA celebrates Earth’s incredible natural beauty with free photo book

NASA has published a fabulous new book featuring stunning imagery captured by its satellites over the years. A hardback version is available for $53, though it can also be downloaded to ebook readers for free, and enjoyed online.

This new all-in-one flashlight is a power bank, lighter, and screwdriver

The Pyyros modular flashlight can perform numerous field tasks, from hammering to starting fires. If you back it on Kickstarter now, you can score some savings on this innovative flashlight and multi-tool, but act fast: This early-bird…
Movies & TV

Hilarious new Kickstarter aims to fix Scorcese’s last scene in The Departed

A fan of The Departed and apparent hater of rat-as-symbolism imagery has launched a Kickstarter campaign to digitally erase the rodent from the end of Martin Scorsese’s 2006 movie.