Insta360 is Getting in the Drone Game?

When Insta360 went after GoPro with their modular magnetic Insta360 ONE action camera concept, it was a shot across the bow that the action giant better not sleep on its laurels. Now the 360 company is wading headlong into the drone wars and may be taking a novel approach … being a parts supplier for cameras that others can use to make their drones all but disappear.

Insta360 is promising the new camera or device will “Elevate Your Creativity” in their video hyping whatever the new product is, seems to suggest it takes flight, like or with a drone.

It may be that the company is borrowing from GoPro’s new design philosophy of harvesting existing product technology for new niche designs. If so, Insta360 may be taking the Insta360 One modular Action Camera and incorporating it into existing drones.

This has been done before. Drone enthusiasts have used Insta360 cameras dangling below or above a drone to grab video in the round or to create “tiny planet” style flying videos. But the problem was always that users could see the drone in the footage when the goal was to make the drone completely disappear, and just see what the camera is capturing. A true flying platform.

When the ONE camera arrived on the scene, it became possible to embed the modules into the body of the drone itself, thereby making the camera part of the drone itself, and as such, causing the camera to disappear out of the lens field of view.

Now, Insta360 is taking that DIY approach a step further by creating a mount, adapter, or a camera (we’re not sure which) that can go onto existing drones with that approach.

We don’t really know exactly how it works, or even what it is, but the 19-second video footage shows that the drone is totally left out of the field of view.  This leads many to speculate that the cameras are installed deep within the body of the drone, above and below, to take advantage of the blind spot that occurs as the footage is overlapped.

The drones are also designed to be a cine whoop style FPV design, which is an incredibly nimble, but stable camera platform for capturing that flying camera point of view.

An example of this kind of drone is the BetaFPV X-Knight 360 FPV Quadcopter. With an Insta360 ONE camera mounted above and below the drone’s fuselage, it can capture an entire spherical image in this manner.

Image Credit – BetaFPV

The drone is incredibly small too, with tiny 5-inch propellers and an overall design that can land on the palm of the pilot’s hand.

A second design, called the NewBee Invisa360 drone, takes the Cine Whoop concept even further with an FPV style design for piloting the drone, while the Insta360 camera capture the cinematic footage.

So whatever is coming from Insta360 on May 24th, could be a drone mount for their cameras, or even a special camera that can be installed into drones themselves. It’s unlikely to be a complete drone but one never knows.

Plus the tweet hyping the product says “Camera,” not a drone. Either way, we’ll find out in about 24 hours.

[source – PetaPixel]

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