When Drone meets Selfie Stick [Video]
Innovation is a wonderful thing. Usable consumer drones are just taking off (yes, pun intended) and inventors keep coming up with new concepts.
One of them is AirDog. The Latvian company presents us a product of the same name that perfectly meets the demands of the social media crowd.
AirDog is a drone that follows its user around, whether on bike, foot or even in a motorized vehicle, with its top speed of nearly 70 kph, it will keep up in most situations. This is accomplished through a device worn by the operator and that’s all there is to it. No manual controlling, maneuvering or landing required, it just works. It is also designed to let you attach your GoPro camera to it, so you can have your very own film crew following you around.
The battery is a limitation here (when is it not?), with a charge lasting roughly 15 minutes. If you’re out doing sports, it would be advisable to have someone to pick it up once you command it to land or the battery runs out. In desolate landscapes like the ones seen in the promo videos, that won’t be a problem, but in an urban environment, without a helper you will either need a backpack or limit your activity, as you probably don’t want to leave it somewhere unattended.
After the release got delayed due to technical issues, the drone works quite well now and the footage is certainly something. Regular GoPro footage of a wild bike ride down a mountain is great, but seeing it from a flying third person perspective is awesome.
However, the first thing that came to at least my mind when I heard about this is that it is essentially a flying selfie stick – and who knows, perhaps instead of extreme sports, we will eventually encounter urban girls in shopping centers, followed by flying robots as they post aerial footage of their adventures to instagram. Starbucks becoming a no-fly zone suddenly doesn’t seem so far off anymore. Or the archetypical Japanese tourist group, now also crowding local airspace as they aim for a good aerial view of themselves, in front of an equally crowded castle Neuschwanstein parking lot.
Bound to release in April, the market for this undoubtedly exists, but the price tag will probably dampen your excitement.
At 1700 Euros, an elongated selfie stick attached to my backpack will have to do the trick for now.