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Could the I-Ball grenade camera be the next frontier in war reporting?

The I-Ball

The I-Ball

camera capable of being fired from a grenade launcher is currently being developed for the Ministry of Defence.

But could it also be the next step for war reporters?

In the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts, we have seen an increasing desire to be ‘in the thick of the action’.

We, the viewers, no longer want reported action; we want to be virtually there as it happens.

We got used to seeing Ben Brown in his flak-jacket and 3-day-stubble crouching in holes in the desert or Rageh Omaar doing a piece to camera as missiles exploded into masonry above his head.

Or even, as the BBC memorably showed us at the outbreak of the Iraq conflict, real-time thermal images of Baghdad as US missiles screamed towards the city in the first wave of ‘shock and awe’.

Where can war reporting go from now?


Imagine, then, the possibilities of a device that can take you even closer to that action.

The I-Ball could provide that opportunity.

It is a small, round camera that transmits high-quality pictures from the moment it is released – either by grenade launcher or simply thrown into a room.

It is even designed to compensate for rolling and tumbling to give soldiers a clear idea of who or what is awaiting them.

Clearly this technology isn’t going to be cheap enough initally. But then again, neither were mobile phones twenty years ago…..


With a live feed from a camera like the I-Ball, we, the viewers, could be finding out what is around the corner at the exact same moment as troops on the ground.

Voyeuristic? Certainly. Exciting? Undeniably.


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