Huh? Is this real? Where did this waterproof, portable, auto following, autonomous quadcopter come from? Who knows, but it looks pretty damn cool. Essentially, the Lily Camera works by triggering a wearable transmitter/tracking device, tossing the camera into the air, and going about your action while it follows you. The camera stays trained in your direction no matter where you go using a combination of GPS technology and “digital gimballing” which means it crops the region of image that contains you – kind of like warp stabilizer in Adobe Premiere. It also has a waterproof rating of IP67 so you could take it up to one meter underwater without causing any damage, has a 20 minute flight time and can fly at speeds up to 25mph, and contains a microphone within the tracking device which automatically synchronizes the audio with the copter.
So what does this mean for the upcoming 3DR Solo or DJI Phantom 3? Well nothing really as it doesn’t have an actual controller. It will only aim itself at the transmitter. It seems pretty clear from their website and promo video that the Lily Camera is aimed at a very broad market (look even Grandma can fly the Lily!) rather than the drone nerd/enthusiast. But I could definitely see the Lily being useful for situations where I want to track a fast moving subject with very little setup time. However, at a $1,000 price point ($500 for pre-order), it may be a little steep considering that the bare 3DR Solo and DJI Phantom 3 Advanced quadcopters are the same price. Yes obviously they do much different things but you just have to ask yourself what you’ll be shooting more of: ultimate action selfies or aerial landscapes?
For more information about the Lily, visit their company website at lily.camera