The drone - still only a prototype - launches from the wrist to snap photos or videos of the wearer

A wearable camera drone that snaps pictures of the user from afar has won top prize and $500,000 in an international competition organized by Intel.

The Nixie looks like a bulky wristwatch and is aimed primarily at extreme sports enthusiast. Its four flexible bands (each with a propeller at the end) curl around the wrist and release with a sweeping gesture – as if the wearer launched a hawk from their wrist.

The drone can then snap pictures or capture video before returning automatically – perfect for activities like mountain biking or climbing where the user’s hands are busy.

The device is powered by Intel’s newly-launched Edison chip – essentially a tiny working computer the size of an SD card that the company hopes will be used by inventors and companies of all sizes to power a range of gadgets and wearables.

Nixie will be using their prize money to fund further developments of their drone (still in the prototype stage) but the idea of turning drones into autonomous cameras is already common with rival devices such as the Hexo+ and AirDog already promising similar functionality.