Those annoyed with the selfie stick trend should batten down the hatches, as the quest for better self-portraits is only going to get weirder.
As the technology that lets professional drones capture beautiful shots from algorithmically-determined angles trickles down to more reasonably-priced consumer gadgets, it’s not hard to envision a family buying a drone to capture photos and video at gatherings so no one has to be left out by holding the camera.
That’s the market Lily is going after, and it’s building a family-friendly gadget and brand to reach them. Its logo resembles a smiling emoji, and that same logo on the drone itself gives them impression that the little hovering pod is happy to be with you.
Lily’s drone can record at 1080p at 60 frames per second or 720p with 120 fps slow motion. That’s not really where the startup is differentiating itself. Instead, it’s doing things like making its drone waterproof so you can have it by the pool, and letting the drone take off and immediately go into an “orbit” around the user instead of requiring everyone stand back as the drone lifts off the ground.
You’ll get 20 minutes out of flight time out of Lily, which means you’re going to have to be careful to only send it up if you know you’ll get some good shots or footage out of it. This is unsurprising, as most drones are held back by the capacity of today’s batteries. Because Lily’s batteries are sealed inside, you also have to wait two hours before it’ll be fully charged again — no swapping batteries while at the family picnic.
The Lily is accompanied by a tiny remote that serves as a beacon for the drone’s autopilot to follow, direct control of its position, and as a microphone that captures audio to go along with your high-def video. It’s a nice size — your thumb can easily reach the controls without looking, and it’s definitely pocket/purse-able.
Lily’s available for pre-sale from the startup’s website starting this morning. The company is hoping to keep high-end players out of its space by undercutting them on price, selling the drone at $499 for its first month and going up to $899 after that.