If you take selfie photos constantly, maybe you’re ready to move beyond smartphone camera timers and selfie sticks for your pics. Is it time to start dabbling in aerial photography?
Sure, why not. Especially if Snapchat’s second-ever piece of hardware finds an audience when it goes on sale.
Snapchat’s parent company, Snap, unveiled a drone called “Pixy” last week. It said the little flying camera is designed for taking selfies.
Snap’s Pixy drone is made for taking selfies
Pixy is the company’s second piece of hardware after Spectacles, its glasses with built-in cameras initially released in 2017.
“Level up your Snaps, grow your audience, and get cash for your creativity with the latest features for creators on Snapchat,” the company said on its summit website. “Plus, meet Pixy — the latest way to take your creativity to new heights.”
The drone is designed to be small and simple to use. It’s scarcely larger than a person’s palm. It weighs a mere 101 grams (0.22 pounds). At that size, it would fit in a jacket pocket and maybe even a pants pocket.
But keep in mind, the drone is so lightweight you may not be able to use it on a windy day.
How it works
Upon release on Thursday, no details existed about how a user starts or controls a flight, but some have emerged since. It takes off from the palm of your hand at about eye level and then tracks you on its short, programmed flight. Flights last just 10 to 20 seconds.
“There isn’t a controller; it takes off from and lands on an outstretched palm, and it uses six pre-programmed flight patterns that are accessible through a dial on the top of the device,” TheVerge reported in a “hands-on” piece that includes an interview with Snapchat CEO Even Spiegel.
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The Pixy weighs just 101 grams with its swappable battery inserted. Snap says a full charge will get you five to eight flights, which can range from roughly 10 to 20 seconds — a short flight even by tiny drone standards. Additional batteries cost $20, and Snap sells a portable dual-battery charger for $50. The Pixy’s 12MP sensor shoots up to 100 videos or 1,000 photos, all of which are stored locally on a 16GB drive.
The footage is synced wirelessly to the Memories section of Snapchat, edited there (it doesn’t capture audio, so Snap lets you use songs it has licensed from music labels), and is then shareable directly in the app or elsewhere. Snap has included a few Pixy-specific AR effects to choose from, and I’d expect more to be added over time from the company and its creators. An auto-crop feature can quickly turn the horizontal footage into Snap’s staple vertical orientation, centered on the main subject. The video quality isn’t amazing — it’s not something you’re going to want to display on a large screen — but it’s fine enough for viewing on a phone.
You can preorder now from Snap with shipping estimated in 11 to 12 weeks.
Price: Buy Pixy with a rechargeable battery and bumper case with strap for $229.99. With a dual battery charger and two batteries, it’s $249.99.
Where to preorder: Pixy