DT Daily: Drone/jetliner close encounter, Samsung Gear VR, COBI bike light

Today on DT Daily: a drone has a close call with a jetliner, Samsung’ VR headset gets a price, and a bike light system as cool as it is high tech.

Hey drone pilots, a quick heads up: while you’re waiting for the FAA to make rules for legally flying your fun new toys, trying to get action shots of actual planes in flight is not likely to help your case.

That’s apparently what happened last July in England, according to the civil authorities there. Apparently, a twin-engine Airbus A320 was coming in for a landing when the pilot spotted a quadcopter nearby. It doesn’t sound like any evasive action was required, but Brit officials gave the close encounter an “A” rating, which is the top of the danger scale. In the U.S., the FAA has booked 175 close call reports in the last six months, with 25 rated as near-collisions.

We love drones as much as the next gadget geek, but stunts like that are a quick way for the FAA to ground the whole industry, so pilots: keep your flights confined to parks and back yards.

There’s been plenty of buzz around the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset, but you can’t buy one yet. Now, it looks like the new headset from Samsung has beat them to the punch.

Called the Samsung Gear VR, the headset uses a Note 4 smartphone as the primary operative piece, with the headset being just a shell and holder. And yes, it was developed in coordination with Oculus, so they’re certainly still in the game. But now, the VR headset has a price: just $200 bucks. Keep in mind you’ll need that smartphone, which can set you back another 800 bucks, but $1,000 for a complete VR rig is, well, actually a pretty good deal.

Where can you get it? So far, it’s only in the AT&T online store, and it looks like you should be able to get one right now.

Here in Portland, people ride their bicycles year-round, weather be damned. That means you’ve got a bell, headlight, bike computers and more on a crowded handlebar. The guys at iCradle feel your pain and they’ve come up with a high-tech solution: the COBI connected bike system.

Using your smartphone as the centerpiece and controlled by a small thumbpad and app, the COBI system included a bright headlight, brake light, turn signals, horn and more. The mounting system lets you see your phone’s GPS and the controller also lets you DJ your tunes or answer the phone while still riding safely. There’s also a version designed for the growing number of electric bikes now on the road.

iCradle hit their funding goal but you can still get an early bird release for 160 bucks, so if you’re a pedaling road warrior, now’s the time to pick one up.

Your host today is Caleb Denison. Miss a day? Watch all the episodes of DT Daily right here. And be sure to catch our latest podcast.

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