Pixy is a little semi-sentient drone sidekick you can use to record yourself. The cute yellow gadget flies itself with no remote, should be a breeze to carry around, and doesn’t cost much.
Snap Inc. (parent company of Snapchat) recently introduced what might be — brace yourself — a tiny disruptor to the drone market.
Pixy is a simple drone about the size of your hand that you can program to take influencer-duty videos of yourself. Initially, it costs $230 in the U.S. and France, and takes 2.7K videos and 12MP photos.
“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.
The diminutive yellow unit — just 101 g! — flies somewhere adjacent to the drone paradigm. It has no SD card and no controller. Instead, there’s a button to turn it on and a dial to select the flying mode. Four modes are available; you can tell the tiny device to hover, orbit around you, or follow you as you walk or run.
Once you’ve got Pixy dialed in, that’s it — just let it levitate off your hand, and it starts capturing. The drone automatically uploads its files to Snapchat, where they are stored in Memories. From there, you can use any of the usual Snapchat editing features or choose from Pixy’s options like Hyperspeed, Bounce, Orbit 3D, and Jump Cut.
That’s all there is to it. It’s not quite a proper drone — don’t expect to shoot the next “The Dawn Wall” with it. But therein lies one of its possible advantages. In many places you’d want to shoot, drones are illegal (such as the entire city of Paris, for instance).
In others, they’re just disruptive. I’ve personally witnessed disgruntled, granola-eating boulderers throw rocks at flying drones.
But unobtrusive, seemingly category-defying Pixy might very well skirt those problems. As weird as this might sound, though, the most remarkable thing about Pixy might be the way it lands. According to Snap, when you’re done shooting, hold out your hand below it, and it (should) land softly, right in your palm.
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Per the Pixy ordering portal, delivery starts 16-17 weeks from now, in late summer. Pay $20 more, and you can get an extra battery and a dual battery charger. Each battery supports five to eight flights in the default modes.