Snap Drone

Leave it to Snap, the makers of SnapChat to do something actually interesting with products. Sure, they started the app with disappearing photos, but they branched out with the viral camera glasses Spectacles a few years ago. They want to be more than an app, and now it looks like they've come up with something whimsical.

The Snap Pixy is a $229 lightweight drone that is now on sale. The flying yellow square has a few preset modes wherein it can follow a person, fly away slowly for a 'reveal' effect, and even do an 'orbit' around someone. It doesn't use a remote control and lands in the palm of its owners hand. Alex Heath at The Verge writes with the details

The Pixy weighs just 101 grams with its swappable battery inserted. Snap says a full charge will get you five to eight flights, which can range from roughly 10 to 20 seconds — a short flight even by tiny drone standards. Additional batteries cost $20, and Snap sells a portable dual-battery charger for $50. The Pixy’s 12MP sensor shoots up to 100 videos or 1,000 photos, all of which are stored locally on a 16GB drive.

The footage is synced wirelessly to the Memories section of Snapchat, edited there (it doesn’t capture audio, so Snap lets you use songs it has licensed from music labels), and is then shareable directly in the app or elsewhere.

Thanks to a bottom-facing camera, the Pixy’s main trick is taking off and landing in your hand. Its front-facing camera needs to be lined up roughly at eye level as it takes off, and then it automatically tracks you as you move around. When you’re ready to end the flight, simply outstretch your hand to the Pixy, and it returns to your palm. During both outdoor and indoor tests, I found this to be the most impressive part of using the drone; it just works and induces a rare “wow” moment the first time it happens.

The Verge

I think this is a potential home run for Snap. The Spectacles were fun glasses but a bit too weird. I own a pair and enjoyed the hands-free nature of recording video. But they were limited and didn't serve much of a purpose. This is an inexpensive drone that's simple to use and at an accessible price point. It hits that impulse buy center of the Venn Diagram.

At $229 I think Snap is going to sell a bunch of these. I haven't used Snapchat in ages, but even for me, this is a tempting purchase for the fun aspect alone.

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