Snap introduces new pocket-sized drone camera

Snapchat has introduced a new option for users to take photographs and videos: the Pixy, a flying camera drone that fits in the palm of your hand. The drone was presented during Snap’s fourth annual Partner Summit and was made available for purchase on Pixy.com in the United States and France on Thursday, with prices starting at $230. Pre-ordered drones will begin to arrive by the end of May, according to Snap. The drone’s photos and videos will be saved to Snapchat Memories, which allows users to save material for later use. For years, there have been whispers that Snap is working on a selfie drone. 

Pixy is another example of social networking corporations investing in consumer goods. Snap, the parent company of Snapchat, refers to itself as a camera company, even though it is best known for the temporary messaging software. Pixy is controlled by pressing a button and choosing from a variety of flying directions, including hover, orbit, reveal, favorite, and follow. During its flight, Pixy will shoot images and videos automatically, but users can configure Pixy to exclusively record videos. The drone will float in the air and take pictures before returning to the user.

During the product unveiling, Snap CEO Evan Spiegel stated “Pixy is ready to fly at a moment’s notice. There are no controllers. There’s no complex setup. Simply set a flight path and let Pixy take it from there.” According to a Snapchat representative, there are two flight packs available for purchase online. A base pack, which comes with a bumper strap to carry the drone, a charging wire, and a battery for $230, and a bundled flight pack that contains everything in the base package as well as extra rechargeable batteries and a charger for $250.

A battery will set you back $20, and a charger $50. The Pixy user guide does not specify how long the battery will last, but it does state that it will let you collect content for five to eight flights. Pixy can save up to 1,000 images or 100 movies on its 16GB flash storage. The drone weighs about 101 grams, the camera has 12 megapixels and the video is captured at 2.7K. Pixy does not capture sound and is not water-resistant. Additionally, it may not be able to finish its flight courses in heavy wind.

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