LAS VEGAS--Interactive Toy Concepts was showing off its new "Wi-Spi" line of remote control video surveillance devices at CES Unveiled 2012 on Sunday (Jan 8) evening.
The firm was demoing two models, a helicopter and a race car, both of which can be remote controlled via a phone application to fly or drive around shooting live stream videos, which show up directly back on the user's phone and can be quickly uploaded to YouTube, Facebook and other social networks.
The car - aptly codenamed "the Intruder" - can sneak around filming secret footage replete with audio, while the helicopter can fly around and capture both video and still scenes furtively from above.
"It's perfect if you want to spy on your colleague in the next cube," a rep from the firm told us.
Both models will be available in the fall of 2012, with the Wi-Spi Helicopter costing $120 while the Intruder race car will cost $100.
Check out the video (in Firefox or Chrome) below
I've recently viewed images from some people in Syria who have used something similar (although may have been homemade) to take birds eye photographs of demonstrations, which were then posted on the web.
How is a WiFi toy going to teach a kid anything about science? The whole thing is plug and play and probably not able to be modified or repaired. The helicopter could indeed be flown out of control range, or even more likely, be subject to jamming signals, accidental or intentional. In fact, it could probably be shot down with a rubber band from some of the "office marksmen" that I have observed in the past.
The concerns about invasion of privacy certainly do seem to be another consideration, unless the video resolution is so very poor that those observed are not identifiable.
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.