So over the holidays we saw that TGIFridays in the United Kingdom was attempting to create a buzz by having people kiss under a mistletoe-toting drone. The program started in a Manchester location and was expected to spread across the nation to select locations as well as over seas to the States.
“Everyone loves a good Christmas party, but we all know things can be a bit awkward until someone breaks the ice.
“We’re known for legendary celebrations at Fridays, so we wanted to see how we could make Christmas get-togethers in our restaurants even more entertaining, and offer guests the encouragement they need to make their move.
“Our mistletoe drones are the perfect way to do this. Not only are they great fun for the entire restaurant, but they help people get a little closer at this time of the year.
“Who knows – maybe we’ll have had our first mistletoe drone wedding by this time next year.”
This is one of those things that you say, “That sounds pretty cool, but I know this is going to end poorly.” And sure as a lactose intolerant, ice cream eating, toddler in a haunted house poops his pants, this did not go so well for a Brooklyn based photojournalist. Georgine Benvenuto was injured with one of the drones.
“It literally chipped off a tip of my nose,” said Benvenuto, using tissues to stanch the blood. “It took off part of my nose and cut me here, right under my chin,” Benvenuto said.
The TGIFriday’s drone operator, David Quiones, came back with a gem of a quote:
“If people get hurt, they’re going to come regardless. People get hurt in airplanes, they still fly. There is a risk involved — anything flying, there is risk.”
He’s right – there is a risk in flying – but you expect a risk getting on a plane, not when you’re ordering Jack Daniels smothered potato skins.
Weird Al, the purveyor of all things weird and Al’ish, the same man who has parodied songs by everyone from Micheal Jackson to Miley Cyrus, has taken to selling drones. He appears in a Christmas 2014 ad for RadioShack selling a line of quadcopters created by Interative Toys. A female customer walks in and requests a HeliQuad (an ultra-basic entry level drone) and Weird Al kicks into action. By the end of the commercial his pet drone lands on his “gloven” wrist à la a falconer.
At the time of this writing, RadioShack has 9 drones for sale and assuming they are miraculously able to stay in business, I would expect them to grow that offering.
Check out the intentionally borderline annoying performance here:
Wearable drones might become a reality thanks to developers of Nixie. It’s more likely, however, to interest adventurers than fashionistas. Nixie is a tiny drone that weighs less than a tenth of a pound and is worn on your wrist. The wrist strap unfolds to become a quadcopter which can fly off to take pictures or videos before returning to you! This sounds perfect for activities that require too much concentration (or too many hands!) to pilot a drone -think rock climbing or mountain biking.
Nixie will have several modes including Boomerang mode, Panorama mode, Follow me mode, and Hover mode. “We’re not trying to build a quadcopter, we’re trying to build a personal photographer,” says project manager Jenna Jovanovic.
There are prototypes and concept renderings are in existence, but the final form of the device is still in the works. Let’s keep an eye on this and see where it goes!
What happens when Cirque du Soleil, ETH Zurich, and Verity Studios partner to develop a short film featuring quadcopters in a flying dance performance? Introducing “SPARKED: A Live Interaction Between Humans and Quadcopters,” a wonderfully orchestrated four minutes showcasing ten quadcopters moving in sync along with a human to create a whimsical little story. It’s amazing to watch knowing that no CGI, wires, slow-mo or fast-forwards were used; everything you see is real and can be attributed to the quadcopters. Watching such skillful piloting makes me want to go out and practice flying! Watch the video below and see for yourself one of the many ways drones can and will contribute to the entertainment industry.
All photos were taken by a member of Martha’s security detail. With this kind of fun at work, he has no reason to say he ain’t gonna work on Martha’s farm no more [Bob Dylan reference with a slight twist, for the >90% of you who missed it].
The idea of The Nightmare Before Christmas’s Jack Skellington coming to life could go from dream to reality thanks to Walt Disney’s plans to implement drones to support and manipulate giant marionette puppets. Disney has drones in mind for other aerial displays as well.
Walt Disney has filed three patents for applications involving drones. The patents are as follows.