iOS-connected Lily drone promises to make aerial photography simpler than ever

Posted:
in iPhone edited August 2015
A newly announced iOS-compatible camera drone ditches controllers entirely, making it as simple as tossing the device into the sky to begin recording high-quality aerial footage.




The Lily is a self flying drone that pairs with a small, wearable beacon it follows to capture footage. Users simply configure Lily from the puck-shaped accessory, toss the drone into the sky to begin flight, and then commence the activity.

Lily is also waterproof, as demonstrated in a promotional video shown by the company behind it, in which a user simply tosses the drone into a river and the device floats before automatically taking off. It's also small enough to fit in a backpack.

The drone's camera can take still pictures at 12 megapixels, record 1080p video at 60 frames per second, or capture 120-frames-per-second slow-motion at 720p. Shooting modes for Lily include follow, lead, fly up, side, and loop.





The tracking device also features an integrated microphone that records high-quality sound around the person holding it. The drone's system automatically synchronizes audio from the tracking device with the video that it records.

Lily's tracking device also includes a waterproof case that can be worn on the wrist.




Lily will also offer iOS connectivity when it ships, streaming low-resolution live video to a companion app that will help users to frame shots.

The official Lily app will also enable users to change camera settings, create custom shots, and edit and share content from the device.

The drone has a max speed of 25 miles per hour, and can fly up to 100 feet away from the user, or as close as 5 feet from them. Flight time for the drone is said to be about 20 minutes, and the battery is not swappable because of its waterproof design.

Lily is available for preorder now at the device's official website at a special introductory price of $499 plus shipping. Once it launches, the price will go up to $999.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 37
    airnerdairnerd Posts: 622member
    Now extreme sports people that don't have any friends can get in on the "watch me do stuff" action.
  • Reply 2 of 37
    jfc1138jfc1138 Posts: 3,090member
    Might be an interesting cycling training aid.

    though that 20 minutes flight duration is sort of low.
  • Reply 3 of 37
    inklinginkling Posts: 731member
    It's a fascinating device, particularly for outdoor sports. But alas, its focus on one wearer confirms my suspicion that our era will become known as the Selfie Generation.
  • Reply 4 of 37
    nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member
    Aerial cam, plus local audio recording--sounds really useful, actually.
  • Reply 5 of 37
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member

    I've been thinking seriously about buying a drone camera set up. This looks pretty nice, although I need programable courses rather than just follow, lead, etc. because I want to take video of inaccessible areas.

  • Reply 6 of 37
    suddenly newtonsuddenly newton Posts: 13,737member
    You wear that hideous tracking device on your wrist? But that's where my Apple Watch is going to live! Why can't it track the Apple Watch? ;)
  • Reply 7 of 37
    yojimbo007yojimbo007 Posts: 947member
    Fantastic!!!!
    Love it and its waterproof!!! Wow .....
  • Reply 8 of 37
    neilmneilm Posts: 574member
    20 minutes flight duration and no ability to change the battery? That's going to be quite a severe market limitation. Surely it would not have been that difficult to provide a battery compartment with a lightweight plastic lid and O-ring seal.
  • Reply 9 of 37
    evilutionevilution Posts: 1,345member

    So, they can sell it for a profit at $499 but they will be selling it for $999.

    Also not shipping until February next year.

    Great for $499 though, it's really clever.

  • Reply 10 of 37
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,973member
    evilution wrote: »
    So, they can sell it for a profit at $499 but they will be selling it for $999.

    How do you know it's being sold at a profit at $499? It most likely isn't which would explain the subsequent price increase.
  • Reply 11 of 37
    macwjmmacwjm Posts: 1member
    20 minutes of flight then a 2 hour wait to charge. I don't think so. It looks interesting but without an interchangeable battery it is useless to me.
  • Reply 12 of 37
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post



    You wear that hideous tracking device on your wrist? But that's where my Apple Watch is going to live! Why can't it track the Apple Watch? image



    You only need the wrist worn waterproof case when you are planning to go in the water. If you are going kayaking you probably wouldn't be wearing your ?Watch anyway.

     

    For operations on dry land you can keep the tracking device in your pocket, that is, unless you need to use the microphone, in which case it would probably work better closer to the audio source. 

  • Reply 13 of 37
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 1,994member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by airnerd View Post



    Now extreme sports people that don't have any friends can get in on the "watch me do stuff" action.

     

    Are you really going to have a friend control your drone following you along?   Can't have a family member in the shot while trying to control the drone!!!  It's really a pretty cool idea.   No skill needed to fly it.  It has enough smarts to fly it's self around you, behind you ir front of you or on the side of you and keep a pretty close distance you want at all times.  A Human would have to be a pretty good at flying a drone to do the same without zig zagging and up and down and all over jaggy.    At $500, that's a pretty good price.  $1000 would be to much for me.  

  • Reply 14 of 37
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 1,994member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post



    You wear that hideous tracking device on your wrist? But that's where my Apple Watch is going to live! Why can't it track the Apple Watch? image

     

    That's how you also control it and tell it what you want to do.   You also don't have to have it on your wrist.  You saw it in that waterproof case.  It would be a little hard to go and grab it out of your pocket and change something while your paddling.  Besides, just put it on the wrist your watch isn't on!!!

  • Reply 15 of 37
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 1,994member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by NeilM View Post



    20 minutes flight duration and no ability to change the battery? That's going to be quite a severe market limitation. Surely it would not have been that difficult to provide a battery compartment with a lightweight plastic lid and O-ring seal.

     

    I was thinking the same.  Hell the while thing but the battery compartment could be sealed tight.   For example my little hand held GPS unit, you just twist the small nob and the cover with a o-ring around it comes right off and you can get to the battery's and pop it back on it a flash.  Seems a little strange.   Other that that, it really looks like a cool device.  Simple to use.

  • Reply 16 of 37
    bsimpsenbsimpsen Posts: 262member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Inkling View Post



    It's a fascinating device, particularly for outdoor sports. But alas, its focus on one wearer confirms my suspicion that our era will become known as the Selfie Generation.



    I wonder if you're missing the point. It's not that the focus is on one wearer (me, me me!), it's the the drone is able to track something without human intervention. Tracking shots have historically required considerable effort. Before drones, they required a dolly grip and photographer. With drones, they require either a skilled pilot/cinematographer who can fly the drone and track the shot, or two people, one to pilot, one to track.

     

    With this drone, you're able to get the shot without needing any help. I can envision situations in which I'd want to track a shot, but wouldn't have enough hands to fly the drone, aim the camera, watch for hazards, etc. I suspect a human team could outperform the drone, but if you don't have the team?

     

    I'm no fan of the idea of a "Selfie Generation". I'm also no fan of the idea that "only the rich and powerful have a voice." I look forward to what aspiring filmmakers can do with devices like this. Of course there will be more chaff along with more wheat and we've all got a fixed appetite. Fortunately, there's also a budding world of curators out there to sort things for the rest of us. As with everything else online these days, discovery will be the challenge. I think we'll figure that out.

     

    We live in interesting times.

  • Reply 17 of 37
    nolamacguynolamacguy Posts: 4,758member
    this looks pretty sweet. novel and fun.
  • Reply 18 of 37
    nolamacguynolamacguy Posts: 4,758member
    neilm wrote: »
    20 minutes flight duration and no ability to change the battery? That's going to be quite a severe market limitation. Surely it would not have been that difficult to provide a battery compartment with a lightweight plastic lid and O-ring seal.

    everything's easy until you implement it.
  • Reply 19 of 37
    pscooter63pscooter63 Posts: 901member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Inkling View Post



    It's a fascinating device, particularly for outdoor sports. But alas, its focus on one wearer confirms my suspicion that our era will become known as the Selfie Generation.

     

    You should really try to curb your inner Benjamin Frost...

  • Reply 20 of 37
    suddenly newtonsuddenly newton Posts: 13,737member
    jbdragon wrote: »
    That's how you also control it and tell it what you want to do.   You also don't have to have it on your wrist.  You saw it in that waterproof case.  It would be a little hard to go and grab it out of your pocket and change something while your paddling.  Besides, just put it on the wrist your watch isn't on!!!

    Don't get me wrong. I'm impressed. I want one, if the production units are as smart as what is shown in the video. I dunno how I'd feel throwing it off a bridge like in the video. People have lost drones before, so hopefully it won't get lost and never be found.
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