The fans familiar to us either blow in one direction, or shake their "head" from side to side along a fixed trajectory. The new Follow Fan will track your movements and automatically aim the propeller at you as you walk around the room.
The project was developed by software engineers from Minnesota Nate Elke and Ai Sakhir. Follow Fan looks like an ordinary floor fan with a steel case and aluminum blades, but there is a camera in the center of its grill. A computer vision system based on a built-in microprocessor analyzes the video stream sent by the "eye" and determines the location of a person or people in the field of view. It then focuses on the silhouette closest to the camera and makes the fan head move left or right to follow the person.
When the target leaves the room, an automatic shutdown occurs to optimize energy consumption, and then the fan is turned on again when the person returns to the field of view. In this case, Follow Fan can be programmed for the standard mode - unidirectional or oscillating - for three types of power. Developers concerned about the confidentiality of the information of potential users assure that the device works offline, so their video is not sent anywhere and is not saved on the Internet.
The Follow Fan weighs 9.5 kg, the blade diameter is 50 cm, and the swing angle is 135 degrees. The unit is being promoted on Kickstarter. It is not on sale yet, but if the project is successful, the preliminary price will be $ 299. At the same time, you can now pre-order for $ 199.