People love the bird’s eye view from a drone, but it’s easy to get intimidated by having to fly one. The change in directional control depends on whether the UAV is coming towards you or away from you, operating the camera at the same time, and paying attention to the FAAs rules and regulations. It’s a lot for a simple content creator to juggle, especially if you’re just making short clips for YouTube or TikTok.
But Snap is making things stupidly simple with their new Pixy Drone, with an automatic follow feature that takes being a drone operator completely out of the equation. And when it’s done, it just lands in the palm of the creator’s hand.
Pixy isn’t Snap’s first hardware product. Their Spectacles glasses, with a video-capable camera built-in to the frame, took their social media-obsessed subscribers by storm back in 2016. Spectacles enabled users to capture the moment with a simple touch of the temple, but they lacked one thing, the creator in the scene.
Small enough to fit in your pocket Pixy is designed to be a video recording sidekick that captures the moment and automatically uploads them to your mobile devices as a Snapchat memory.
From there, content creators can use Snap’s Director’s toolset to edit the videos, crop the scene, add sound and music effects, and more. After polishing the final version of a video, users can share their videos with the world as Chat, Stories, Spotlight, or publish to any other platform they chose.
When engaged, Pixy will take off from the hand and automatically hover at a safe and discreet distance, capturing the moment in 2.7K video or 12MP still images. Pixy has a built-in 16GB internal storage, with no additional SD card required, and can store up to 100 short videos or 1,000 photos.
The battery life for Pixy doesn’t seem all that great, each fully charged cell will yield a maximum of five to eight flights of 10 and 20 seconds each. That means a creator won’t be able to create any kind of cinematic sequence, but the flight time is designed around capturing a moment in a selfy fashion, and for that, the duration makes sense.
There are four different preset flight modes for Pixy, including float or hover, orbit, reveal and follow. There’s a fifth custom preset for selecting or programming a special flightpath. The longer the flight mode, though, the more often the battery will need charging.
Furthermore, at 101 grams, Pixy is light enough that it doesn’t have to be registered with the FAA as a drone, users will, however, need to be aware that all other basic drone regulations still apply.
But Pixy is designed to fly well below legal drone limits and to stay close, so those concerned about violating any regs shouldn’t fret too much. Just be aware that in some places, like federal parks and areas with a lot of people, drone use is forbidden. There are also local laws to keep in mind as well.
The price of the Pixy is $229, and it comes with one battery and a USB-C charging cable. No controller or additional hardware is required. Additional batteries are $20, and there’s also a dual battery charger for $50, and an optional lanyard carrying accessory.
Snap is also making only a limited number of Pixy’s available, much like they did with Spectacles. So, if content creators want to get their feet wet with a UAV, they’d better act fast. Available now from Pixy.com.
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