Far out: Golf Channel testing out something called the Hoverfly Erista (pic/video)


On Thursday, the official Twitter account of Titleist tweeted a photo that purportedly documents a new technology that the Golf Channel is working on to drastically alter the way in which golf is covered on television. Dubbed the Hoverfly Erista, the somewhat primitive-appearing yet technologically futuristic camera is presumably operated by remote control and features a multi-propeller propulsion system (I’m just making terms up now) that it allows it (fittingly, given the name of the thingamajobber) the ability to hover above a golfer for a birds-eye view of a player while he takes his swing.

Here’s how the Hoverfly Erista is described on its website:

With the largest carrying capacity of any multi-rotor aerial cinema system available, ERISTA captures breathtaking, epic footage from the air with exceptional performance. The retractable landing gear and 360º rotating camera gimbal mount provide unobstructed views to capture the perfect shot every time. Featuring our patent-pending HovercoreTM flight technology, the ERISTA cinema package includes everything you need to film with the most demanding cameras in a multi-rotor system – for true professional film production. 

Far out. The above photo shows the camera at work as it captures footage of a swing by two-time PGA Tour winner Scott Stallings, a man clearly much braver than I.

Seriously, it resembles something straight out of a scene from Star Wars film, doesn’t it? You know, without all the lame, overdone CGI crap.

The Golf Channel is testing out this bad boy at this week’s Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill and what follows is some video of the camera doing its thing.

Wow. While it is an impressive piece of technology even in its current state, methinks the folks working on the Hover Fly Aerial Camera are going to have to do make some major tweaking to its design and performance, starting with the loud buzzing noise it emits. There is no way any golfer on the PGA Tour would be willing to put up with that kind of sound level during his swing. Can you imagine how a Tiger Woods would react to having that thing buzzing above his head while he’s planning, lining up and making a shot? Not well.

[H/T Business Insider]

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  1. Mexoplex

    March 21, 2013 at 6:44 am

    I would say out of Flash Gordon, but Star Wars: A New Hope would be a good comparison too. It’s going to be fun in the upcoming years of how this technology is mandated. That Hoverfly Erista is considered a drone. And the government is starting to regulate them in the US. I hope Big Brother doesnt mess this technology up because it would be good to use in other sports. Imagine following a Hail Mary play from the QB to WR with a very close camera shot. Being able to almost count the revolutions of the ball as it travels along the rainbow.

  2. tom fitz

    March 21, 2013 at 9:06 am

    With all the technology we have I can’t believe this is what they introduce to the public. It looks like something that would have come out in the ’70s.

  3. Charlie

    March 21, 2013 at 11:04 am

    The web site for this indicates Max flight time 12 min. Good luck when Sergio is on the T.

  4. preferred user

    March 21, 2013 at 11:35 am

    How much is liability insurance to operate that thing over a populated golf course?

  5. C C Ryder

    March 21, 2013 at 2:00 pm

    I think they jumped the gun on this announcement. Probably should have come out on April 1.

  6. dhatty

    March 21, 2013 at 7:18 pm

    A golf drone.

  7. Mr.Art

    March 21, 2013 at 8:17 pm

    Let’s not confuse golf with an actual sport. Game of skill maybe, but definely not a real sport!

  8. Gerrard Capashen

    March 22, 2013 at 8:37 pm

    1. CC Ryder – It’s for real. I work with guys who use these for snowboarding & skiing events already. But they typically only use these for promotional shots, not during competition, for the noise and safety reasons cited in the article. This won’t be buzzing Tiger Woods unless he’s shooting a commercial.
    2. Tom Fitz – form follows function. Sure, they could put a bunch of fancy detail work on it to make it appear superficially “sci-fi,” but that’s just extra weight it has to carry, which means its using more power for no actual gain. And that’s weight you’re stealing from the payload, which is unacceptable in any type of working aircraft.

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