Wearable Drone Wins $500,000 Grand Prize from Intel

nixieIntel has awarded a $500,000 (£312,000) grand prize to a team who developed a wristband that converts into a camera-equipped drone as part of its Make It Wearable contest.

The Nixie quadcopter is aimed at rock climbers and other outdoor sportspeople. It wraps around the wrist normally, but can spring into the air to take pictures from elevated positions, giving users the freedom of both of their hands. The drone then returns to its owner, and syncs with the owners smartphone to allow for photo and video editing and sharing.

The Make It Wearable contest was launched in January by Intel CEO Brian Krzanich in an effort to encourage developers and technology startups to use Intels chips when producing wearable technology. The prize money is intended to help the winners bring their prototype to market.

Second prize was won by UK company Open Bionics, who have utilised high-efficiency 3D printing to develop prosthetic hands for amputees, while third prize was picked up by ProGlove, who created an enterprise wearable that aims to reduce physical work stress, improve ergonomics and reduce workplace mistakes.

“This was an experiment to see what we could do in this space and see what kind of creativity we could spawn,” said Krzanich at the award event. “The real value in this was the diversity of the teams and ideas.”