How to turn your Nokia Lumia 1020 into the ultimate surveillance drone

Nokia finally unveiled the Lumia 1020. It’s unique in the world of Windows Phone (and smartphones in general) for packing 41 million pixels into the camera module. Nokia is taking advantage of this power with their Camera Pro app. Other app makers, like Hipstamatic/Oggl Pro and Vyclone are doing the same with special apps tailored for the Lumia 1020. What’s happening in the world of hardware accessories? In another first for Windows Phone, a company is preparing to offer up a drone that pairs with your Lumia 1020 to capture high-resolution aerial photographs. Um, press review units please?

A company called Lehmann Aviation is producing what they claim is the world’s first drone that uses a cell phone with a high resolution camera. And honestly, who are we to disprove that claim. Seems like a valid statement since the only other cell phone that matches the Nokia Lumia 1020 in resolution is the Nokia 808 PureView.

The LA300 is a drone that has been designed to use the Lumia 1020 for orthophoto and DEM. Don’t worry, I went to Wikipedia for you. An orthophotograph is an aerial photograph that has been corrected so that the scale is uniform. By removing distortion, the photograph it produces is more like a map. DEM stands for digital elevation model. That’s a digital model or 3D representation of a terrain’s surface. What better camera to produce those images than the super over sampling imaging inside the Lumia 1020?

Badass right? Well, it gets cooler. The company has designed the LA300 to be a fully autonomous UAV. You can even set flight paths using their Windows 8 app called OperationCenter. Grab it here in the Windows Store (opens in new tab) for all those drones sitting around in your basement.

Let that sink in. You can buy a drone, use your Lumia 1020 as the camera, and control all this with your Windows 8 laptop/tablet/hybrid/convertible.

The LA300 will set you back 4,900 euros (about $6,399.76). So this is probably not aimed for all us to play around with on the occasional weekend, but maybe for those who actually use this stuff on the job (or a really, really serious hobby). Lehmann Aviation, how about you send a review unit to one of us here at Windows Phone Central. Otherwise we’ll have to ship Rich across the channel to visit you for a demo.

Which one of you pioneering folks will be the first to produce a DIY version of this that we can afford? 

Source: Lehmann Aviation, Via: GSMArena; Thanks, Moody Caplan, for the tip!

Sam Sabri
  • Whoa!!!
  • Whoa indeed...this is really going to help sell WP8 to the masses, lol! Just like when they dropped a phone from space, lmao! If I had the cash...I WOULD STILL BUY IT THOUGH! Curse of the fanboy!!!
  • Even Obama is jealous!  I'm guessing he has <---- section removed/censored by NSA --->
  • One of the better NSA jokes I've heard lately.
  • Wow!
  • "Which one of you pioneering folks will be the first to produce a DIY version of this that we can afford?"
    A: Get me a 1020 for free and I'll get that done in a week :P
  • Pfft. Get me a free 1020 and I'll get it done in three days! :P
  • I agree! I would love a DIY version so I could actually afford to try this out. That could be a lot of fun!
  • So many articles about a yet to be released handset seems redundant!
  • WOAH WOAH WOAH! This is awesome stuff. A freaking drone controlled with Windows 8... and your Lumia 1020 high in the sky snapping pictures. This is super cool. While not affordable by 99% of us, it's still cool. Plus we cover Windows Phone news and last I checked the Lumia 1020 was currently one of the more exciting things happening in our scene :)
  • +1sam this guy is just a hater
  • And doesn't know the definition of redundant.... Don't remember reading this story before.
  • Not nearly as bad as a subpar, techno-n00b, overhyped iPwn. At least this phone earns the coverage...
  • Love people that complain about news showing up on a news site. Jackass.
  • So when the drone crashes? Bye bye lumia
  • Ha. Maybe not so. Last I checked whatever a Nokia falls on needs to be the one you're concerned about. 
  • +1020
  • Use my 920 as a boomerang.... Doesn't come back but kills whatever it hits
  • Haha, exactly! Look out earth.
  • I don't think you'll be worried about your phone if your $6,000 drone just crashed. should get insurance.
  • @ZX So my state farm agent can get me high-tech flying windows 8 controlled surveillance drone insurance?
  • Like a good neighbor.
  • That actually made chuckle. Lmao
  • I was excited until I saw the price. Still, very very cool though.
  • Not what i was expecting. Anyway, the 1020 will make it easier to stalk my ex-girlfriend. 50 yards will seem like nothing with this phone and I can dump my long range zoom lenses as they can be easily spotted from a mile away.
  • LOL
  • with the sexy 1020, you can easily get a new gf.
  • +1020
  • I actually want to buy this. I'm a bit of a rotorhead.
  • I'll let you get it first Sammie. :)
  • You're gonna want to take photos in the highest resolution you can from high up. Won't be up in the air very long though, what with that 32G internal memory ;) You'll have to fly it down every few minutes to upload to SkyDrive and delete the local files :P
  • They image offloading could be done by the refueling drone.
  • This is targeting a specific "niche" buyer.
  • NSA Agents?
  • Not just niche, but niche to use as a personal device. The FAA is still frowning on the use of remotely operated aircraft for commercial purposes by people who do not have a commercial pilot license. In other words, they are shutting down photographers who are selling aerial photographs taken from a drone or model helicopter. If you spend this much on your drone, you're going to want o use it to make money, but the FAA doesn't want you to unless you're a commercial pilot.
  • Nice try NSA, I won't do your work for you
  • +920
  • What are they thinking!? This will never sell to the general public at $6,399.76! They need to come down on the price so the average person walking into AT&T will be able to say, "Yeah, give me the 1020 with that drone."
  • This is out of control!!! I'd attempt selling what I could or just maxing a credit card for this. But, being in Texas it'll probably get shot out of the sky while its busy on its flight path. They need to post videos like yesterday.
  • I wait for one to come up on Craigslist .. Lol
  • Hmm, maybe you can just assembly quadrocopter and use Ardupilot and you will get almost the same for less money (500$?).
  • That sounds like a cheap way to get aerial photos. instead of renting a helicopter and a photographer for a few hours.
    - Cool thing is that my company needs aerial photos for construction sites.
    I guess i should talk them into this. If i do WPCentral and fly to Miami to give it a test.
  • Deal
  • Haha oops, I just made a similar comment below. Added bonus: job security to the person who learns to use the sofware on this. I wonder if processing sofware is a separate purchase?
  • Problem is that the FAA still frowns on the use of "drones" for commercial photography if there isn't a pilot with a commercial license involved.
  • Taking stalking to a whole new level.
  • NSA already called shotgun on the first batch. The rest will be confiscated as they'll be a risk to national security.
  • Lol! That crossed my mind too ;)
  • "Shotgun" - yeah, tha's what I'll be using when one of these comes in over my property!   Nokia or no Nokia...
  • Is this the only thread where - at least in some comments - the NSA and Microsofts cooperation is mentioned? 
    Nobody giving a ... about the fact that Microsoft allows the NSA (and others?) to look into my SkyDrive? Makes it possible to record my Skype calls (audio and video)?
    But of course every 3rd class game or useless technical detail of coming Nokia phones is more important. Silly me.
    It's in the forums but what about page one of wpcentral?
  • Do you have anything to hide? J/k j/k! Lol
  • pretty sure every single other tech giant got the knife in their face about your data... nice try singling ms out
  • I'd say if your government is forcing your hands to trade freedom with security , you should know that your freedom might run out long before you get decent security.
  • This. :-(
  • Whoa whoa whoa!!! Now that's something...
  • Not upgrading until 8.1 comes out
  • It's a great idea. However you can not sell those pictures as it is a violation of air space and you require a license or permission. I was very excited when i first heard of drones using cameras, but the Air Space Association (w/e their name is) has other plans.
    On one hand I understand they don't want people flying drones into planes, on the other .... :(
  • You know, I've always been curious about a place called Area 51. Since it doesn't really exists and all it should be fine testing this baby there as that place has plenty of open space no one flies over ;)
  • Yup. You can take all the pictures you want, but if you sell them and catch the attention of the FAA, you'll get shut down unless you're also a commercial pilot.
  • On topic that right no privacy no where.... prison planet
  • Awesome stuff.  If you need something on the cheap I think the Parrot AR Drone 2.0 is 1/20th the cost.  
  • I think you missed that this has a mount for your 1020 and a way to interact with it in the sky. :)
  • I wonder if my boss will let me expense this.
  • Actually, that is an amazingly low price for such an enterprise level solution. As a professional photographer, i spend over $8000 just for each camera body alone.
  • But the FAA sees commercial aerial photography as requiring a commercial pilot, whether in a manned or unmanned aircraft. Try to sell the pictures without being also a commercial pilot,and cath the attention of the FAA and get shut down.
  • Can u believe on certain sites fandroids are trying to say s4 zoom is superior to our 1020? Think I peed a bit in my shorts
  • Btw.... Shoot one 1020...winning
  • Don't they already have one with the iPhone?
  • I could see real use for this in obtaining aerial photographs of college campuses and performing arts venues, especially those that are under frequentconstruction. Paying an aerial photographer everytime the landscape changes is rather expensive. Now if I can only get our VP of Admin and Finance to approve this purchase... and maybe I hold onto the L1020 just for safe keeping, right?
  • Problem is that the FAA still says a commercial pilot is required for commercial aerial photography, even in unmanned aircraft photography.
  • Yeah...that's exactly what I'll be doing...providing 'murican spies with further capabilities of sticking their meddling heads in my European life.
    Nice try, President Hussein.
  • Nokia briliant...
  • Kewl, so I can fly around and kill people too!?
  • Imagine how this could make a surveyors job so much better. Cheap aerial photography.
  • Only if he operator is a commercial pilot. The FAA has shut down a number of photographers who have had similar ideas.
  • I'm in Canada bro, not sure of the rules regarding its use here but the FAA couldn't shut me down. Damn alphabet agencies.
  • Drones is a derogatory term. They prefer to be called UAV's. Give bad publicity.
  • So whats next? Attaching laser gun to that or nuclear missle?
  • i thought the 4000+ Euros are just numbers or plain "number codes".. It's a price and I go like: what?? 4000 Euros??
  • Cheaper alternative...pretty soon everyone will have their own air militia with hi-def targeted siting...