6 cool gadgets spotted at Coachella
Among the smartphones and action cams, festivalgoers at Coachella had a batch of cool tools that caught our eye. Here’s our round-up of some of the best tech we saw.
1. Orca Vue Life camera rig
Said to approximate the Wachowski’s pioneering ‘bullet time’ effect developed during the making of The Matrix, this portable camera rig lets you shoot 360 degree and slow motion footage and accommodates GoPros, smartphones and small DSLRs. Looking something like a basic record player, you’ll get smooth continuous shots and just maybe a viral video out of it.
If you don’t want to commit to the Orca Vue (it’s portable but has it’s own wheely case, and isn’t cheap), try an alternative set-up like the Action Jib Kit for GoPros and other action cameras. It’s that bit easier to take on site (it’s compact and comes with a carry bag) and will give you unique crane shots when you attach it to a separate monopod. A pulley system lets you rotate the camera.
2. DJI Osmo 4K camera and 3-axis Gimbal
This tough, sturdy unit is more graceful than it might look. The guy we spoke to using this was weaving his way through the crowd shooting slow motion footage to upload to YouTube. The gimbal gives it brilliant handheld stabilization, cutting out the wobble. It’s got controls on the handle for the camera and gimbal and an arm for a smartphone, which acts as a live-view screen. There’s an an app that goes with it which gives you access to more features.
DJI also make drones – we saw a couple of official drones at Coachella and providing the rules don’t ban them at whichever festival you’re heading to, these are another great way to get some amazing footage.
They also manufacture a gimbal that attaches your GoPro to your drone for steady airborn shots. View it here.
3. GoPro accessories
The Coachella rules didn’t specifically list action camera accessories as contraband, even if selfie sticks made it into the banned items. That said, we didn’t see many knocking about – and we did see one couple in the crowd play it safe by constructing their own mount using a wooden stick and a blown-up picture of US presidential candidate Bernie Sanders’ head. They had their GoPro peeping out through one of his eyes. Cunning.
But a wooden stick won’t be very steady. Again, check the rules at the festival you’re heading to but the GoPro 3-Way Mount is a camera grip, extension arm and tripod in one. The Jaws Flex Clamp allows you to shoot from any angle easily, while a chest harness or head strap will let you shoot all day long and give you that first-person experience.
4. Here ‘Active Listening’ ear buds
There’s a waiting list for these, but people who bought tickets for this year’s Coachella were given the opportunity to jump the queue and get their hands on these hi-tech audio innovations before anybody else. These clever little wireless ear buds are inconspicuous and highly portable and worked in conjunction with Coachella’s optimised stages to bring festival goers a unique sound experience.
Used in synch with a smartphone app, they allow you to customise what you hear and how you hear it, so you can adjust the volume and EQ of a live experience and even add effects.
5. LED Light-up shoes
These were awesome and we can definitely see them catching on at UK festivals. Called Electric Styles, they’re a lot of fun and if you get in there first (try them this year at Glastonbury), you and your friends will, with a bit of luck, be among the few wearing them and you won’t have any problems once the sun goes down finding each other.
6. Axl Rose’s throne
We couldn’t put this list together without giving honourable mention the feat of engineering that is Axl Rose’s throne. To be accurate, it’s actually the motorized seat that was developed for Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl after he broke his leg and wanted to continue playing live shows. When Axl did the same, Grohl stepped in and offered the Guns N’ Roses singer his chariot.