Self-driving drone Lily has had quite the success in sales and it’s not even on the market yet. The startup pulled in a whopping $34 million in pre-orders by the end of 2015, with 60,000 units already sold.
While that’s not as massive as Apple Watch pre-sales (1.2 million sold in the first day), it’s still a pretty good indicator Lily is onto something.
The little flying bot is pretty cute with its rounded style and smizing blue LED lights. The 10.29-inch-wide by 3.22-inch-tall device can fly 50 feet up and comes equipped with a 1080p HD camera.
Lily acts as a robot videographer, automatically following you anywhere. It starts recording videos as soon as you toss it into the air and is even waterproof, should you want to take it to the pool.
A small tracking device lures Lily along as it uses technological wizardry to find the perfect shot.
But don’t call Lily a drone. “It’s a camera,” co-founder and CEO of the company Antoine Balaresque corrected me as he gave me a demo of the
drone camera in the lobby of the Courtyard Marriott in downtown Las Vegas during CES. How does the FAA feel about that? As an unmanned aircraft, the device still must meet FAA licensing standards (because it’s a drone).
Drone or self-flying camera, Lily is still available for pre-order on the site for a comparatively reasonable $800 (the Hexo+, another automated drone with a built-in camera, goes for $1350 retail). The commercial price will be $1,000 when it officially launches sometime in summer 2016.
Balaresque and I chatted about Lily’s unique features and his successful pre-order campaign on camera. Click on the video above to see the interview and learn more about this fun hovercam that could even become a member of our TechCrunch TV crew one day.