Hasbro has revealed the latest generation of its Nerf blasters, including one which features a built-in camera for recording a gun's-eye view of your foam dart fights. The N-Strike Elite Nerf Cam ECS-12 Blaster also has a screen which can be used for viewing back footage.
A quick glance at YouTube shows that kids (both little and big) have been attaching cameras and smartphones to Nerf blasters to document their foam-based battles for some time. But, while Hasbro has its own iPod/iPhone Nerf mount for doing this, the N-Strike Elite Nerf Cam ECS-12 Blaster is the first Nerf shooter to include a built-in camera and screen.
The 0.3 megapixel camera on the ECS-12 allows users to shoot 20 fps video or stills and gives a view including the end of the barrel so you can see the flight of the dart from blaster to target, and their reaction to getting shot. A 1.77-inch screen, which sits at the back of the blaster, can be used as a sight while shooting or to play back footage. An included 4 GB SD card is good for storing 2,000 photos or 3 hours of video.
Though the tech doesn't go as far as the Tek Recon system (which uses a smart device running an app to turn blaster battles into a real-life first person shooter), Hasbro expects to see footage from the ECS-12 Blaster downloaded and shared online. Despite its somewhat disappointing resolution and frame-rate, it could also come in handy for settling the inevitable disputes about whether someone was actually hit.
Powered by AA batteries, the Nerf Cam ECS-12 Blaster will come with a 12 dart clip and 12 N-Strike Elite darts, which it can fire 90 ft (27 m). It's due to be available by the end of 2014 and will sell for US$80.