One of My Favorite Christmas Gifts

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January 21, 2013 by Will Ray

I wanted to take a quick minute to tell you about something I didn’t even know existed, until this Christmas

For tech “nerds” like myself, it’s amazing, but everyone can enjoy it.

My Uncle Wilson is renowned in our family for his incredible gift-giving ability.  Not always crazy expensive gifts, but just great gifts that fit people well.  He’s always made a point to get each person something personal for them.

This year, he outdid himself.

I opened up a Wi-Spi Remote Helicopter this Christmas, and it easily vaulted to one of the coolest gifts I’ve received.

My Wi-Spi Heli

My Wi-Spi Heli

This helicopter has a live camera on it, and is controlled by your iPhone!  There is a free controller app that you download that enables control of the heli. The  It emits a wi-fi network signal when you turn it on, so you sign onto that network with your iPhone or Android device, just like you would sign onto a wi-fi network at home.

From there, enter the app, and the controls go “live” on your phone, while the screen of your device displays the live picture being picked up from the on-board camera!  You can take pictures and video, which are recorded straight to the device.  The possibilities for fun and mischief are limitless.

Here are a few videos I’ve taken with the on-board camera.  You see Winston briefly in this first one, but he’s decided he doesn’t like this thing at all:

I pulled it out again when Winston’s brother Boaz was staying with us – he was trying to figure out what he thought about it:

Finally, one video Nancy shot of Boaz’s first reaction to the helicopter.  I failed to start video recording before takeoff on this one.

Pros:
Setup – I found it easy to connect and setup and start flying.  After charging, only took me about 5 minutes to download app and start crashing flying the thing.
– Free App – no additional cost aside from the helicopter itself
– Durable – As you can see, I’ve crash landed (or just crashed) the thing a few times.  Still working great.
Video and picture taking ability – adds another dimension to the whole thing

Cons:
– Video – You have to start recording before taking off.  Otherwise, photos only.
– Flight time – On a single charge, you get about 7 minutes of flight time.  That’s a little short, but an acceptable sacrifice when you think about the battery on this thing powering a wi-fi hotspot, running the little engine, and transmitting live video to your phone.

Overall, great little gadget for just about anyone with a basic level of technical aptitude.  I see lots of opportunities for fun in the future with this.  Thanks Uncle Wilson!

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About me…

Youth minister, financial coach and part-time wedding photographer, based in Raleigh, NC

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