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Toss your camera—literally—for aerial photos

Throwing a camera may not seem smart, but some engineers think it's a secret to taking better pictures.

The first is a prototype of the Birdie camera accessory
Source: Birdie
The first is a prototype of the Birdie camera accessory

A team from Uruguay on Tuesday launched a crowdfunding campaign for Birdie, an action camera accessory designed to make aerial photography cheaper and easier. Users load a camera into the device, which they can toss into the air to take pictures from above.

One of Birdie's creators said the team wanted to make a simple alternative to drones, which have grown more popular for photography.

"It's like a picture you get with a drone. The main difference between drones and Birdie is that it's very easy to carry," said Birdie co-founder Ianai Urwicz.

Birdie's Indiegogo campaign aims to raise $15,000 in 45 days to help with production costs. The team previously received a $100,000 investment for the device, Urwicz said.

Donors who give $35 will receive a Birdie, which has a suggested retail price of $50. Urwicz noted that it costs about $15 to build one, depending on the quantity produced.

A shot of a beach taken in the air using Birdie.
Source: Birdie
A shot of a beach taken in the air using Birdie.

Birdie is made up of a base and aerodynamic attachment and can be stored in a small bag. When constructed, it mimics the movement of a badminton shuttlecock, hanging briefly in the air when thrown.

Users can load certain GoPro camera models into the device and pick a rapid shooting or video setting. Urwicz said he eventually wants Birdie to accommodate smartphones and other cameras.

"What makes this unique is that you really forget that you're taking photos. It's like a game of catch, throwing the Birdie from one person to another," he said.

Urwicz contended that Birdie is easier to use than photography drones, which often sell for at least twice as much as Birdie's $50 suggested retail price. He also noted that drones require registration by law.

Still, photography drones are becoming more prevalent. GoPro is expected to release its drone model this year.