"BIT Plane" (1997-1998) by the Bureau of Inverse Technology (BIT) is a miniature aerial observation and recording unit.
BIT Plane is a highly-compact spy plane, wingspan 20 inches: radio-controlled, video-instrumented and deployed over areas of scenic interest. Due to its refined dimensions, BIT Plane is able to enter territory inaccessible to other aircraft.
Maiden flight: aerial reconnaissance over the Silicon Valley California 1997. BIT Plane flew solo and undetected into the glittering heartland of the Information Age. Video generated in this exercise includes footage retrieved over no-camera zones: Apple, Lockheed, Nasa Ames, Netscape, Xerox Parc, Interval Research, Atari, Hewlett Packard, Oracle, Yahoo, SGI, Sun Microsystems.
BitPlane (patent pending) is a pet aerial observation unit - a highly compact spy plane - developed by the Bureau of Inverse Technology (BIT) from the generous residues of cold war precision. (The Bureau is developing a range of smart video products, BitPlane being the latest addition to this line).
The device consists of a radio-controlled model aircraft (wingspan approximately 20 inches), instrumented with a miniature nose-mounted ccd-board camera and transmitter. The plane can be operated at altitudes of up to 600 feet. The FM transmitter sends a continuous stream of planes-eye-view video to the ground receiver, providing the pilot with the navigational view for the plane. The video signal is simultaneously recorded on tape, for archival and research purposes.
The Bureau is currently compiling video data retrieved in a series of sorties over the Silicon Valley / California (Oct '97 - Oct '98). BitPlane's mission takes it deep into the heart of the Valley, to view the source and progress of the Information Age. The in-flight video retrieved presents the familiar hosts and icons of the Information Economy from a novel aerial vantage point, as the unit flies over unusual formations of brilliant engineers, garage door openers, next generation chips, dense cellular networks, circular duck ponds, suburban tract housing enclaves, military think tanks, BMW convertibles, artificial irrigated lawns, cheap foreign labor and the pleasant climate of Northern California.
Arjen Mulder, The Art of the Accident, 1998