In an age where people are more obsessed with themselves as ever before, we always have a camera and take photos of ourselves constantly. While we have definitely taken it too far in the past (looking at you, selfie sticks), sometimes a gadget comes around that we can actually see not only fulfilling our self-involved needs, but also some very practical ones. The Lily camera may look like a drone at first—it even shares image capturing capabilities—but it’s so much cooler. Not only can you throw Lily in the air when you want it to start recording, it also flies itself.
Since a controller isn’t required (it tracks you using GPS and computer vision via a waterproof sensor kept on your body), your hands and attention are freed up to do whatever you want. Lily can fly alongside you taking HD pictures and video (plus audio) as you run triathlons, barrel down steep snowy mountains on a snowboard, and catch some sick waves.
The gadget is waterproof (IP67-rated) for up to one meter—with its motors sealed and insulated—so you can toss it right in the water and have it float beside you for a unique angle. If winds are strong, that’s okay too since Lily can fly just fine in winds up to 15mph—it has been tested successfully in 20mph winds, but the company recommends you don’t try it.
Thanks to the remote app, you can stream what Lily is recording in real-time, configure the camera’s behaviors after takeoff, and check its battery life. Designed to be super portable, Lily weighs less than the average laptop and can fit into any backpack. Capable of reaching 25mph, the gadget has a minimum altitude of five feet above head level and a maximum of 50 feet high.
The only drawback we can see is that you can’t switch out Lily’s batteries while on the go and one charge only lasts about 20 minutes—you’ll know it’s ready when its eyes are solid blue. The permanently-placed battery is to ensure the inner mechanics stay waterproof and while 20 minutes isn’t all that long, there are plenty of portable chargers on the market that will make juicing Lily up a snap.
Lily is available for a special pre-order price of $619; after July 15 the price jumps up to $999. Shipping is set to launch in May 2016.
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