Snap announces a mini drone called Pixy

·3 min read

Meet Pixy, Snap’s little flying companion. Pixy is a mini drone that can act as a camera sidekick when you can’t ask someone to take a video of you. It’s yellow, it’s cute and it’ll be available in the U.S. and in France for $229.99.

“Today, we’re taking the power and magic of the Snap Camera — the spontaneity, the joy and the freedom — to new heights. A new camera to match the limitless potential of your imagination. Meet Pixy, the world’s friendliest flying camera. It’s a pocket-sized, free-flying sidekick for adventures big and small,” Snap CEO Evan Spiegel said during the Snap Partner Summit keynote.

Pixy isn’t your average drone as there is no controller and no SD card. It feels like the company has optimized the device so that it’s easy to pick up and get started. There’s a button to activate the device and a camera dial to select the flying mode.

There are four preconfigured flight paths. You can tell Pixy to float, orbit around you or follow you as you walk or run. You select the right mode, press the button and Pixy takes off from your hand.

When you want to stop recording, you place your hand below the drone. Pixy will automatically land in the palm of your hand. And here's what it looks like in action:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cqIsDo-f670?version=3&rel=1&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&fs=1&hl=en-US&autohide=2&wmode=transparent&w=640&h=360]

For readers who like specifications, Pixy captures 2.7K videos and 12 MP photos. It’s very lightweight as it only weighs 101 g with the replaceable battery. On a single charge, you can capture five to eight flights.

Once the drone is done shooting a video, you can open Snapchat on your phone. Videos from your flights are automatically transferred wirelessly to your phone. By default, they are stored in your Snapchat Memories.

Of course, you can then view these videos, edit them, send them and share them. If you’re already familiar with Snapchat’s editing features, you’ll be able to use the same editing tools for your Pixy videos. You can also apply some effects to your videos, such as Hyperspeed, Bounce, Orbit 3D and Jump Cut.

And … that’s about it. It’s a neat little drone and it seems like the Snap team in charge of this project had a lot of fun developing it. It’s not going to change the company’s bottom line but it’s definitely cool.

There are not a lot of use cases for Pixy though. In many places, you can’t use drones legally. For instance, drones are banned in Paris. Not just some areas, but the entire city of Paris. Similarly, you won’t be able to use it when you go to the Grand Canyon national park as drones are also illegal over there.

But if you think you absolutely need something like Pixy in your life, you should act fast. Snap is implying that Pixy isn’t going to be available forever. You can buy it while supplies last on Pixy.com.

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