Mini-drone phone case hopes to change the way people take selfies

The autonomous flying camera doubles as a phone case and is controlled by the phone's camera app.

January 24, 2017 17:16
2 minute read.

Selfly, a photography drone built into a smartphone case

Selfly, a photography drone built into a smartphone case


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A mini-drone built into the case of your smartphone hopes to overcome the limitations of the selfie stick, without the complications of piloting a drone.

Selfly's autonomous flying camera doubles as a phone case and is controlled by the camera app using the kind of movements for wide-angle of zoom we are all already used to, according to Selfly founder, Israeli Hagay Klein.

"You actually look at the picture on your phone and you manipulate the picture the way you want it to be. You don't think about what the drone is doing. You're not flying an airplane. You're controlling the photo just the way you want it to be. You want it to be bigger, to zoom in? You just manipulate it with your fingers to zoom in. The phone will translate it into flight orders and it will just come a little bit closer," Klein said.

The company's promotional video says Selfly uses high end stabilization and autonomously flies to capture amazing views, and even record videos from new perspectives.

Simply snap Selfly off the phone, set it in the air, and let it do its magic, no controller system necessary, the video says.

"Most of the people don't fly drones, it's complicated, you have to hassle around, you have to charge your controller, you have to take a bag, you have to remember to charge everything, it's not convenient. That's where Selfly comes in. We are solving a problem. We took all the technology, the high end technology, stabilizing technology known today in the drone world and we packaged it into a thin phone case. OK, it's your phone case, it's always with you. You don't have to think about taking it with you, it's with you. You don't have to fly it because it's stable in the air. You just take it out, you pop it out, you put it wherever you want and you control it very easily through the application," Klein said.

The company plans to retail Selfly for $99, accommodating most 4 to 6 inch smartphone models or available as a universal case.

"We built this from scratch to be as convenient and as simple as it is to use a smartphone. You don't think about how to use your smartphone, you're not afraid of using your smartphone, it's just your smartphone. So until now you had a front camera, a back camera, everyone had a back camera on his phone, and today you have a third camera but it's a detachable camera that you can take off your phone, put it wherever you want. You're not flying a drone, you're controlling your photo. It's as simple as that," said Klein.

In future, the company plans to release an open source code for the control system, allowing developers to add their own modifications, Klein said.

A twenty five minute charge will allow 5 minutes of flying time, more than enough according to Klein, who added "this is not the drone you take to the park just to fly for fun, this is an invisible tripod."

Selfly's Kickstarter campaign launched on Tuesday (January 24) looking for the funding to perfect its prototype, aiming to get the device to market within 6 months.

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