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Time magazine (February 11) carries an article reviewing the fast evolution of drone technology and problems and opportunities involved with President Obama’s “drone campaign”, under the title Drone Home.

It says:

Five years ago the Parrot (drone) couldn’t have existed; it’s an anthology of fresh-off-the-vine technologies. Five years ago there weren’t cameras as tiny and sharp or chips as tiny and fast.

As I did not find the phrase “fresh-off-the-vine” in any English dictionaries at hand, I checked the phrase online to find only irrelevant lines such as:

Ask the guys from Fresh Off the Vine what kind of music they play, and the first word that comes to mind is “mystical.” - www.dailyinterlake.com

Though I surmise that “fresh-off-the vine technologies” means just newly born technologies (please correct me, if I’m wrong), is the phrase, “fresh-off-the-vine” widely and frequently used to imply "fledgling" or "brand new"? Can I say 'fresh-off style / fashion / idea etc' in the same way?

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

Yes, "fresh off the vine" means brand new, the very latest thing.

It suggests picking a very fresh grape directly from the vine where it grows: you can't get fresher or newer.

America's drones are an amalgamation of new tech: unmanned, remotely-piloted aircraft with the very latest autostabilisation, rotors and cameras.

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It's possibly also a play on the etymology of anthology. – coleopterist Feb 27 '13 at 10:23

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