Amazon and Google Continue Their Plans for Drone Delivery

Google has joined Amazon in the race to deliver goods faster by small unmanned aircraft. The tech giant has had “Project Wing” in development for two years, but the company does not expect to build mini helicopter drones for another few years. Meanwhile, the Federal Aviation Administration is still imposing restrictions on flying drones in the U.S., which could slow such plans. Amazon, however, may start drone delivery in India, which does not currently have drone regulations. Continue reading Amazon and Google Continue Their Plans for Drone Delivery

FAA Regulations Needed as Aerial Drones Grow in Popularity?

As the price of small drones decreases, the popularity of these tiny unmanned aircraft increases for aerial wedding photographers and gadget enthusiasts alike. In New York City in particular, the proliferation of these devices has state officials and law enforcement officers worried. There is no required training for the amateur pilots operating these drones. In terms of regulations, the Federal Aviation Agency currently permits drones to be flown under 400 feet. Continue reading FAA Regulations Needed as Aerial Drones Grow in Popularity?

Drone Debate Continues as Hollywood Seeks Production Options

Hollywood continues to consider drones for media production since they have the potential to save money, offer creative options and create a safer set. Drone-makers, rigging manufacturers and aerial production companies have joined forces to offer camera-equipped drones and services. However, federal law prohibits the commercial use of unmanned aircrafts. The FAA is currently reviewing a request by the MPAA to allow drones for use by the film and television industry. Continue reading Drone Debate Continues as Hollywood Seeks Production Options

Satellite-Imaging: Google to Acquire Skybox for $500 Million

Google is purchasing satellite startup Skybox Imaging for $500 million in cash. Founded in 2009, Skybox designs lightweight, affordable satellites that record photos and video of Earth. Skybox employees will initially work with Google’s Maps unit. While Google says it is purchasing Skybox for its imaging capabilities, the search giant is also trying to provide the planet with fast Internet access via balloons, drones and satellites. The acquisition may be part of these larger efforts. Continue reading Satellite-Imaging: Google to Acquire Skybox for $500 Million

FAA Considers Allowing Entertainment Industry to Use Drones

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) may lift current restrictions that prohibit the use of drone aircraft for commercial purposes. Seven companies in the film industry filed requests with the help of the Motion Picture Association of America to be able to use small drones at a low altitude in a limited airspace for aerial photography. Drones have already been used in the movie industry despite the ban, but this step could lead to further relaxation of the FAA’s policy. Continue reading FAA Considers Allowing Entertainment Industry to Use Drones

Google, Facebook Look to Expand Reach of Internet Access

Led by Greg Wyler, founder of O3b Networks, Google’s plans to increase Internet access through satellites surge forward. In order to reach unwired regions, Google plans to spend an estimated $1 billion to $3 billion on a fleet of satellites. The project is expected to begin with 180 small, high-capacity satellites orbiting the earth at lower altitudes than traditional satellites. Both Google and Facebook are looking to increase revenue and earnings, and have pinpointed users in these remote regions to do so. Continue reading Google, Facebook Look to Expand Reach of Internet Access

DARPA Converts Army Surveillance Drones into Mobile Hotspots

DARPA’s Mobile Hotspots program is converting retired RQ-7 Army drones into wireless hotspots to provide Wi-Fi to soldiers in remote areas. The drones will be able to transfer data at one gigabyte per second — about the same connectivity of a 4G smartphone — to give troops the same communication capabilities, including access to tactical operation centers and mission data, that others in more central conflict zones have. DARPA is retrofitting the drones with small Wi-Fi antennas. Continue reading DARPA Converts Army Surveillance Drones into Mobile Hotspots

Cinemizer HMD Ideal for On-Set Shooting and VR Experiences

In one corner of the Zeiss NAB booth filled with video cameras and lenses, the latest model of the Zeiss Cinemizer head mounted display is plugged into a video camera. The Cinemizer features dual 870×500 pixel OLED displays. An optional soft-rubber Eye Shield blocks out all external light. Once plugged into the camera via a standard HDMI connector, the camera operator sees exactly what the camera sees. The camera controls can be overlain on the image, just as they can appear in the eye piece or screen on the camera itself.

Continue reading Cinemizer HMD Ideal for On-Set Shooting and VR Experiences

HD Surveillance System Capable of 1.8 Billion Pixel Video

A new NOVA special, “Rise of the Drones,” features the Autonomous Real-Time Ground Ubiquitous Surveillance Imaging System, or ARGUS-IS. The sensor uses 368 imaging chips similar to those found in cell phones to capture separate videos and piece them together to form a 1.8 billion pixel video. This means that the surveillance drone can capture images of birds flying, people walking on streets and cars traveling — all from 17,500 feet above the earth. Continue reading HD Surveillance System Capable of 1.8 Billion Pixel Video