Drones are among the coolest ways to do photography, but they’re hardly convenient. Professional camera drones are hefty, not to mention expensive. Even our favorite drone for taking selfies, the DJI Spark, runs about $500. If you want a more convenient way to take pictures from the sky, AEE may have a solution: The Selfly, a smartphone case that also functions as a camera drone.
“What is the best camera to always have?” AEE Chief Marketing Officer Mike Kahn asked. “The best camera is the camera you always have with you. The camera you always have with you is your smartphone!” It’s a good point. Often, people want to take photos spontaneously and probably aren’t keen to lug a drone with them everywhere they go.
Smartphones are a popular way to take pictures, and people tend to carry them at all times anyway, but they have limitations. “If I’m out, and I’m having a picnic with friends and family, and I’m trying to get that perfect selfie with 20 of my best friends, my arm is just not long enough,” Kahn said. With the Selfly, however, users can simply pull out their phone, remove the drone from the case, pop out the propellers, and then take sweeping photos from on high.
The Selfly can also record video, and its battery life lasts up to four minutes (the case comes with two lithium-ion batteries, for a total life of eight minutes.) Picture and video quality should be good, too, as the case sports a 13-megapixel camera and records 1080p video at 60fps.
Users control the case via the Selfly’s associated smartphone app, available for both Android and iOS. The Selfly comes in a variety of form factors, with models designed to fit recent iPhones and Samsung Galaxy phones, as well as a “universal” case, built to fit any Android phone between four and six inches.
The Selfy costs $130 for the base version, but users can pay an additional $30 for a case with a built-in phone bank for extra juice. For those who need, or simply want, the picture-taking capabilities of a drone without the annoyance of having to haul one, the Selfly is a nifty gadget that likely fits into your everyday carrying bag.