Adventure seekers can get their hands on a new tech toy in just a few months thanks to San Francisco-based startup, Lily.
Founded by Antoine Balaresque and Henry Bradlow, the tech company is finalizing designs and production of its innovation. At first glance, one may assume the smiling mound is a drone – but the UC Berkley grads protest the comparison. In an interview with Mashable, Balaresque said that Lily is a flying camera, and hopes to see it on the shelves next to products like the GoPro.
How it Works
Lily is in a category of its own in the camera universe. Users experience high-flying action without the technical skills needed to fly a complex drone. In fact, Lily flies on its own.
Users take Lily out of their bag and throw it into the air. Once airborne, Lily takes flight and automatically stabilizes itself with the assistance of internally installed sensors.
The camera’s location is controlled by a GPS-managed tracking device worn by the user. The device monitors speed and location, ensuring an accurate flight by Lily.
Lily can hold its position in the air above the user, rotate to keep the user in the frame, hover in place or circle around the user. Lily’s mobile app allows the user to program its preferred flight path and change camera settings. It also gives users tools to edit and share clips and photos straight from their device.
This darling device can hang with even the wildest adventure-seeker thanks to its fully-encased, weatherproof body.
Balaresque told Mashable that it would also learn your face. The final Lily, which is slated to ship in August 2016, boasts a computer vision system that recognizes faces and keeps the user in the frame.
Balaresque and Bradlow founded Lily in 2013 basement of a UC Berkeley robotics lab. The pair teamed up with investors to complete the Lily prototype in 2014.
“Our mission is to release human creativity by inventing tools that allow for effortless expression. We believe that great products are built with a clear purpose,” the founders wrote on their website.
Lily weighs in at 2.8 pounds.
It’s three inches tall and 10 inches wide.
Lily flies a span of five feet to 50 feet above the user.
It flies five to 100 feet in front or behind the user.
Lily reaches speeds up to 25 mph.
It holds a non-replaceable lithium-ion battery that lasts 20 minutes. The battery takes two hours to charge fully.
Lily houses a 12-megapixel Sony sensor, which is the same sensor found in the GoPro Hero 3.
It records 1080p video at up to 60 frames per second or 720p video at 120 frames per second.
Lily features a built-in mic that captures audio from the ground.
On November 30, the team announced that its first Lily came off the production line.
— Lily (@lily) November 30, 2015
The team wrote that there are still “several important milestones to hit” before Lily ships, but the first sign of production is promising for eager users.
Users are expected to receive their own Lily starting in August 2016. You can pre-order the flying camera on the website for $799 plus $20 shipping.