Snapchat has introduced a new option for users to take photographs and videos:
the Pixy is a flying camera drone that fits in the palm of your hand.
The drone will be available for purchase on Pixy.com in the United States and France on Thursday, with prices starting at $230. Pre-ordered drones will begin to arrive by the end of May, according to Snap. The drone’s photos and videos will be saved to Snapchat Memories, which allows users to save content for later use.
Pixy is yet another example of social networking company dabbling with consumer goods. Snap, the parent company of Snapchat, refers to itself as a camera company, despite the fact that it is best known for the ephemeral messaging software. Snap debuted its latest pair of Spectacles, augmented reality eyewear that allows developers to overlay digital pictures onto their vision of the real world, last year. For years, there have been whispers that Snap is working on a selfie drone.
Pixy was presented during Snap’s fourth annual Partner Summit, which will be streamed live online on Thursday.
People control the drone by pressing a button and choosing from a variety of flight directions, including hover, orbit, reveal, favorite, and follow. If you choose to follow Pixy on a hike or a city walk, for example, Pixy will follow you around. During the flight, Pixy will shoot images and movies automatically, but users can configure Pixy to exclusively take videos. The drone will float in the air and take pictures before returning to your hand’s palm.
“Pixy is ready to take off at any moment. There are no controllers in this game. There’s no need for a complicated setup. Simply choose a flight path and let Pixy do the rest “CNET was able to watch Snap CEO Evan Spiegel’s keynote speech before the conference.
Snap will have to persuade its customers to take images and videos of a product that is still in its infancy. There are cheaper alternatives to Pixy on the market, such as the Air Neo from AirSelfie, which costs $150, and more expensive DJI drone cameras.
According to a Snapchat spokeswoman, two flight packs are available for purchase online. A bumper strap to carry the drone, a charging cord, and a battery are included in the base flying pack, which costs $230. There’s also a $250 packaged flying pack that includes everything in the base package as well as extra rechargeable batteries and a charger.
A battery will set you back $20, and a charger will set you back $50. The Pixy user guide does not specify how long the battery will last, but it does state that it will allow you to collect content for five to eight flights. Pixy can save up to 1,000 images or 100 movies on its 16GB flash storage. The product is lightweight at 101 grams. Video is shot at 2.7K and the camera is 12 megapixels.
Pixy videos don’t have sound, but users will be able to modify them on Snapchat to add music, a voice-over, and other effects.
Pixy is also not water-resistant, and if there is too much wind, it may not be able to finish its flight paths. People should also avoid flying the drone over water, near highly reflecting surfaces, or anywhere with a sudden change in elevation, such as a cliff or balcony.
According to the firm, Snapchat has more than 600 million monthly users and 330 million daily active users worldwide.
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