Pixy camera drone flies Snapchat for the selfie generation
After putting a few generations of lifelogging cameras on users faces with Snapchat Spectacles, Snap has now installed its imaging tech in a pocket-sized camera drone called Pixy that can record video or capture photos as it flies around a subject.
The selfie-snapping drone can be set to fly in one of four preset patterns via the multifunction button up top – to hover in front of a user or group, pull back from close to farther out, move around subjects or follow them around.
The front-facing camera can capture 12-MP (4,000 x 3,000 pixels) images and 2.7K video at up to 30 frames per second, while a second camera on the underside helps the drone to navigate as it flies, so users don't need a controller – though there's no mention of any obstacle avoidance smarts being included. Pixy will also land itself on an outstretched hand when the selfie adventure comes to an end.
The recorded Snaps can then be sent wirelessly to the Memories feature within the Snapchat app running on a paired smartphone. Footage can be tweaked and effects added using editing tools before uploading to Snapchat or other social media platforms.
Snap's camera drone measures 131.7 x 106 x 17.6 mm (5.18 x 4.17 x 0.69 in) and weighs in at 101 g (3.5 oz), including its onboard battery. It sports four rotors caged within bright yellow housing for safety, comes with 16 GB of onboard storage for up to 100 videos or 1,000 stills, has Bluetooth Low Energy and 802.11ac Wi-Fi cooked in, and is reported compatible with iPhone 7 or later and some Android phones.
It's Li-ion battery is reckoned good for up to eight separate flights, though that will depend on the flight mode selected, and flight duration times can be set in the Snapchat app. Each swappable battery takes around 40 minutes to juice up via USB-C, though a quick charge to 80 percent takes half that time.
Snap notes that the drone isn't waterproof so if it rains you'll have to resist the urge for a downpour selfie, plus the Pixy might get into trouble in winds stronger than 11.2 km/h (7 mph).
The Pixy camera drone is on sale now in the US and France, and can be had for US$229.99 "while supplies last." A package including two batteries and charger is also available for $249.99. The video below has more.
Product page: Pixy