Lily is a flying camera that follows you automatically. No need to be a great drone pilot, you can now let Lily fly itself and capture amazing videos/photos of any outdoor activity imaginable.
Lily is small enough to fit into a backpack and take anywhere you go. It’s roughly 3 inches tall and 10 inches across, including the blades. Total weight is 2.8 pounds (1.3 kg).
It’s very simple to use. Toss it into the air and its motor automatically kicks in and begins flying.
Because the body of the drone is completely sealed, you can fly it in rain or snow, or even toss it directly into the water (you’ll see this in the youtube video below).
Unlikely other drones, you don’t fly and steer Lily from a remote control or smartphone app. Instead, you strap a small tracking device to your body and Lily automatically follows it.
This tracking beacon is waterproof too, so you can use it while swimming, boating, etc.
The wearable tracker also captures sound, which is a brilliant move by Lily’s engineering team. A drone flying 30 feet away from you isn’t going to be able to capture high quality sound. By putting the sound recording technology in the tracker that you’ll wear on your wrist, you can get great sound quality while filming from far away.
Lily doesn’t just follow behind you either. The tracking device is also a remote controller to adjust the settings mid-flight. Lily can follow behind you, hover ahead of you while filming you from the front, circle around you while capturing a panorama shot, and much more. Check out this youtube video to see how it works:
A mobile app lets you program other flight paths if you want more customization or more control over the camera angles.
Wondering about the camera quality? The built-in camera uses the same Sony camera technology that you’d find on GoPro Hero 3. It captures still photos in 12 megapixels and is capable of recording video in 1080p at up to 60 frames per second. If you want a higher framerate for slow-motion video, you can get 120 fps by reducing the video quality to 720p.
When compared to other drones on the market, Lily is a bit more limited in the flight range, since it’s designed to follow you during activities, not be flown far away from you. It has a maximum height of 50 feet above your current location, for example.
Still, it’s perfect for filming action shots without needing a second person, and its top speed of 25 mph (40 km/h) ensures it can keep up with almost anything from white water rafting to snowboarding.
With other drone models, you’d need a second person to capture this type of footage. Being able to film these activities solo is one of the biggest benefits that Lily brings.
The drone is powered by a lithium-ion battery within the body. It takes 2 hours to fully charge and can fly the drone for 20-25 minutes on a full charge. We’re guessing they’ll improve the battery life with future versions but 20 minutes should be enough to capture a decent amount of footage.
Lily is currently on pre-order with a discounted price. The planned launch is February 2016 and the retail price after launch is expected to be $999.