FutureFive New Zealand logo
Consumer technology news from the future
Story image

Hands-on review: Obsbot Me AI-powered mobile phone mount

By Darren Price
Tue 19 Jul 2022

The Obsbot Me is an independently controlled portable mobile phone mount that can track its target without the need for software or a connection to a phone.

Opening the box, you are presented with a black leather-look clamshell case and an envelope containing the surprisingly comprehensive multi-language user manual. Opening the zip on the case reveals the mount, the detachable base/grip, and a USB charging cable.

The device works completely independently from your phone. There are no wires, connections, or software to mess about with. The only wire included is a USB Type-C to USB Type-A that is used for charging.

Setting up is easy. The Obsbot Me comes folded up in the case, which just needs the mounting arm twisted up and clicked into place. The phone mounting arm can also be twisted around if the phone's rear camera is to be used.

The Obsbot Me is affixed to the base unit using a standard ¼" mount that can also be used to screw it onto a tripod if required. The base unit can be used either with legs unfolded to support the device or folded for handheld use.

The phone is held in place by a spring-loaded clip, which can be twisted for portrait or landscape (and anything in between). The mount doesn't offer much in the way of vertical tilt, so your subject needs to be about level with the phone for optimal use. Any fancy shots will probably need the use of a tripod with a bit more room for adjustment.

The back of the phone mount has a screw that can be tightened using a coin to stop the phone mount from spinning. The review sample still had a little bit of play due to the joint being a bit loose. Pulling off the glued foam on the phone mount exposed a screw that, once tightened right up, solved this issue.

With the phone in position, the device is switched on via a button at the front. There are two methods for initialising tracking. The first, useful if your target is a friend or yourself, is to simply raise your right hand as if you are about to wave at the device. The light ring around the body of the Obsbot Me will turn blue to confirm that it is tracking. Raising your hand again will disengage the tracking. The other method is just to press the button on the front of the device once it's already switched on. The light will either turn blue (confirming it is tracking) or flash blue, indicating that it is trying to locate a target.

Despite my scepticism, I was pleasantly surprised at just how easy the Obsbot Me can not only find its target but also track it. Even doing my best to lose the tracking, the device kept me in the frame. The device can track an object through a full 360 degrees. The motion is also pretty smooth, perhaps not to production quality, or even to the standard of a consumer drone, but more than enough for streaming video or chats.

The Obsbot Me does a great job of tracking objects for your phone videos. But also, it's worth noting what the device doesn't do.

A lot of the Obsbot Me's ease of use comes from the fact that it does not interface with your phone, but this also means that you will have to control your phone as you normally would. The sole button on the Obsbot Me is for switching the device on/off and engaging/disengaging the tracking function; it can't be used to take pictures or start recording video.

The device only tracks objects; it doesn't have a gimble offering a "Steadicam" function like you get with a drone. You are also at the mercy of the device in its framing of your target. A fast-moving target results in fast-moving tracking, which, if erratic, may look a bit jarring on your video. If you want more advanced camera tracking and stabilisation functions, you are looking at a device like the much more expensive DJI Osmo Pocket range.

The above, though, is a small price to pay for a device that can be quickly set up without fuss. And what the Obsbot Me can do, it does very well.

For video selfies and chats using your mobile phone, the Obsbot Me offers tremendous value for money. It's easy to set up and use. It's also very portable. Providing your phone microphone is up to the job, you could easily utilise the device for a remote presentation or demonstration. If you are after a phone mount for video recording or even a selfie stick, you should check out the Obsbot Me.

Related stories
Top stories
Story image
Cyber resilience
NZ’s Cyber Resilience Framework to be evolving and potentially automated
The government's already putting $2.4 million into the Cyber Resilience Framework in its initial stages, what is it and why is it important?
Story image
Blockchain
Australian Grand Prix uses CENNZnet blockchain for fan experience
CENNZnet was employed by Power'd Digital to deliver the Formula 1 Heineken Australian Grand Prix's 2022 AusGP Access program.
Story image
Gaming
Game review: Sweet Transit (PC Steam early access)
Team 17’s Sweet Transit invites players to build a thriving colony in a world whereby trains are the only form of transport.
Story image
SmartWatch
Hands-on review: Huawei Watch D smart watch
The Huawei Watch D is the latest flagship smart watch from the Chinese tech giant, and it's further proof that the company is more than capable of competing with the likes of Samsung and Apple in the highly competitive wearable market.
Story image
Review
Hands-on review: JBL Flip 6 portable speaker
Once you switch it on, and listen away for up to 12 hours, you will quickly realise that this is a little speaker looking for a party.
Story image
Home security
Hands-on review: Eufy Wire-Free Dual Cam Video Doorbell 2K
We have had our house secured by Eufy products for over seven months now. We love the brand, and it has never let us down.
Story image
Gaming
Game review: Digimon Survive (PlayStation 5)
Since there’s little actual gameplay in Digimon Survive, the biggest draw card to the game is its long and interesting story.
Story image
Malware
Research shows attacks on the gaming industry are getting worse
Web application attacks in the gaming sector have grown by 167% from Q1 2021 to Q1 2022, according to new research from Akamai.
Story image
Dark web
Beware the darkverse and its cyber-physical threats
A darkverse of criminality hidden from law enforcement could quickly evolve to fuel a new industry of metaverse-related cybercrime.
Story image
Samsung
New range of Samsung Smart Watches announced with health focus
Samsung has announced new additions to its SmartWatch portfolio, with the Galaxy Watch5 and Galaxy Watch5 Pro to be released in late August.
Story image
Internet
InternetNZ appoints new chief executive. Will take over in October
InternetNZ has announced the appointment of its new chief executive, with Vivien Maidaborn taking over the role from interim chief Andrew Cushen in October.
Story image
Home Entertainment
Hands-on review: TCL 65″ C835 Mini LED 4K Google TV
We introduce you today to a TV that brings the height of immersion to your viewing experience: The TCL 65″ C835 Mini LED 4K Google TV.
Story image
Tablets & laptops
Hands-on review: Xencelabs Graphic Display Tablet
Xencelabs seemed to show up out of nowhere on the market. I had no idea who they were or what they were about, but I was very intrigued.
Story image
Cloud
Microsoft and Auckland Transport announce new cloud agreement
Auckland Transport (AT) and Microsoft have announced a new cloud agreement aimed at promoting innovation, reducing costs and improving sustainability in transport services.
Story image
Printers
Comedy legend Jimeoin fronts Epson advertising campaign in NZ and Australia
According to Epson the company’s EcoTank models now account for 74% of all printers sold in the category in New Zealand, alone.
Story image
Phishing
Norton research finds NZ threat landscape diversifying on social media
Norton's quarterly report has highlighted the seriousness of the threat landscape in New Zealand.
Story image
Gaming
Logitech G’s new Aurora collection looks to help change gaming stereotypes
The company’s new Aurora collection is designed to be gender inclusive, not gender exclusive, addressing the needs and wants of women gamers while also still appealing to a wider general audience.
Story image
Broadband
MyRepublic unveils 'choose the speed you need' mobile plans
Broadband provider MyRepublic has announced the details of its new 'choose the speed you need' mobile plans, designed for New Zealanders. 
Story image
Tablets & laptops
Chromebook and tablet shipments see another rapid decline for the year
According to research from Canalys PC Analysis, Chromebook and tablet shipments have fallen for the fourth quarter in a row for Q2 of 2022.
Story image
i-PRO
I-Pro officially marks launch of brand in Australia and New Zealand
I-Pro has officially launched in Australia and New Zealand, following a series of new releases as an entity that started in early April.
Story image
Apple
2degrees unveils eSIM functionality for selected devices
2degrees has enabled eSIM functionality to work with a variety of Apple, Samsung and Oppo devices, including a range of iPads.
Story image
Fibre
Orcon brings faster fibre to Christchurch with Hyperfibre offering
Orcon has today launched the next generation of fibre speeds in Christchurch, bringing its Hyperfibre offering to the city.
Story image
Gaming
Hands-on review: SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro gaming headset
SteelSeries, being no stranger to creating premium gaming peripherals, sent over its Arctis Nova Pro wired headset kit for us to take a look at.
Story image
Tablets & laptops
Hands-on review: HP Evo Spectre X360 Flip Ultrabook 13.5” laptop
The Spectre comes with a keyboard that makes working for long hours something to be looked forward to. It has to be one of the best keyboards I have seen on a 13.5” laptop.
Story image
Product Management
TeamViewer and Siemens to innovate product lifecycle space with AR
TeamViewer's new partnership with Siemens Digital Industries Software to bring the power of TeamViewer's AR platform, Frontline, to Siemen Teamcenter software.
Story image
Phone
Hands-on review: Obsbot Me AI-powered mobile phone mount
The Obsbot Me is an independently controlled portable mobile phone mount that can track its target without the need for software or a connection to a phone.
Story image
Distribution
Garmin expands NZ footprint with new Auckland distribution centre
The facility at Goodman’s Highbrook Business Park will be fully operational from October 2022 and features 3,586sqm of warehouse space.
Story image
VPN
Hands-on review: Norton Secure VPN
Norton is obviously serious about your privacy. They have a “No-log” policy, which simply means that they do not track or store any of your on-line activities.
Story image
Gaming
Game review: Disgaea 6 Complete
Disgaea 6: Defiance of Destiny originally came out in 2021, and more than a year later, the game has now been re-released.
Story image
Virtual Reality / VR
Virtual reality app reduces phobias through NZ trial
"With this VR app treatment, trialists had increased control in exposure to their fears, as well as control over when and where exposure occurs."
Story image
Gaming
Chorus announces Hyperfibre sponsorship deal with NZ Esports
Chorus has put its support behind New Zealand's Esports community with a newly announced three-year Hyperfibre sponsorship deal with NZ Esports.
Story image
Malware
Minors using Discord servers to spread malware for cash
Avast has discovered an online community of minors constructing, exchanging and spreading malware, including ransomware and a mix of information stealers and cryptominers.
Story image
Review
Hands-on review: TCL 30 SE mobile phone
TCL continues to provide consumers with budget phones that still pack a punch with the TCL 30 SE mobile phone. 
Story image
Planning
Digital key for smart investment in public infrastructure for NZ cities
Major public infrastructure projects can better manage risks of cost overruns and delays if they deploy data and digital tools at the earliest planning stages.
Story image
Gaming
Hands-on review: SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini Keyboard
SteelSeries has taken the design of its range of Apex keyboards to create a smaller version, the Apex Pro Mini. Techday’s Darren Price checks it out.
Story image
Gaming
Game review: Klonoa Phantasy Reverie Series
If there's something missing in today's gaming industry, it's the wonderful discovery of finding new games for hire at your local video rental store. I remember my family hired out the first Klonoa game for the PSOne back in 1997, and it was a blast to play as a kid.
Story image
Netsafe
Major media companies sign new online safety framework for Aotearoa
A new joint development between Netsafe and some of the world's leading social media companies is set to provide Kiwis with safer online experiences.
Story image
Sustainability
NZ program recovers and recycles more than 177 tonnes of e-waste
The TechCollect NZ pilot program says its milestone of recovering and recycling more than 177 tonnes of ICT e-waste recognises the efforts of many.
Story image
Gaming
Attacks on gaming companies more than double over past year
The State of the Internet report shows gaming companies and gamer accounts are at risk, following a surge in web application attacks post pandemic.
Story image
Smartphone
Samsung introduces new generation of foldable smartphones
Samsung has unveiled its new range of Galaxy Z smartphones, bringing new developments to the company’s foldable smartphone portfolio.
Story image
Wireless
Hands-on review: James Donkey RS4 Knight Wireless Gaming Keyboard
I have always liked mechanical keyboards, and this is no exception. I find the action much easier to use than the modern keyboards with limited travel.