Skip to main content

With new owners and major changes, the Lily drone might fly after all

Lily Next-Gen
Mota Group
The Lily drone went down in crowdfunding infamy after the flying camera maker raised $34 million but failed to actually manufacture and ship the drone. Now, a new version of the Lily flying camera is about to hit the market. The Lily brand was purchased by the Mota Group earlier this year, and that company is launching the Lily Next-Gen, a modified version of the Lily.

The Lily Next-Gen includes a few updates but drops some of the camera’s more notable features. The camera gets an upgrade to 4K, with still photos bumped up by a single megapixel. The drone also adds one-touch takeoff and landing, along with Smart Hover, which the brand’s new owner says keeps the camera stabilized. The Next-Gen also includes geofencing, quick charge, and an external battery. And the drone’s arms will now fold in for increased portability.

There are also a handful of features missing that the original Lily promised. The drone no longer appears to launch just by tossing it up in the air, and the tech specs say nothing about waterproofing. The flight time also appears to be shorter, and there’s no mention of that wristworn tracker and controller.

The original Lily was unique (at the time, anyway) because the drone promised simplicity — just toss the Lily into the air and the drone would automatically track your movements and record you. That idea started back in 2013, with a prototype surfacing in 2015, but a number of Lily’s unique features aren’t so unique anymore. Autofollow features are easy to find, and there are a number of “entry-level” drones designed to be easy to fly, like DJI’s Spark and the GoPro Karma.

GoPro was actually one of the companies bidding for the Lily brand after the company announced its closure, according to Forbes, putting in a $250,000 bid on the intellectual property. The Mota Group ended up purchasing the branding rights for $300,000, while LR Acquisitions bought the company’s patents and prototypes.

The company behind the original Lily filed for bankruptcy in February, after two shipping delays and after running out of money to actually manufacture the drone. After a lawsuit for false advertising and unfair business practices was filed, the company allowed pre-order customers to file paperwork for a refund.

The Lily Next-Gen is expected to list for $799, with a $499 pre-order price — and the brand’s new owner is promising worldwide shipping in 2 to 4 weeks. But with the drone’s checkered past and the number of competing models now being marketed by established companies, it’s unclear just how well the new Lily will fly.

Editors' Recommendations

Hillary K. Grigonis
Hillary never planned on becoming a photographer—and then she was handed a camera at her first writing job and she's been…
AI turned Breaking Bad into an anime — and it’s terrifying
Split image of Breaking Bad anime characters.

These days, it seems like there's nothing AI programs can't do. Thanks to advancements in artificial intelligence, deepfakes have done digital "face-offs" with Hollywood celebrities in films and TV shows, VFX artists can de-age actors almost instantly, and ChatGPT has learned how to write big-budget screenplays in the blink of an eye. Pretty soon, AI will probably decide who wins at the Oscars.

Within the past year, AI has also been used to generate beautiful works of art in seconds, creating a viral new trend and causing a boon for fan artists everywhere. TikTok user @cyborgism recently broke the internet by posting a clip featuring many AI-generated pictures of Breaking Bad. The theme here is that the characters are depicted as anime characters straight out of the 1980s, and the result is concerning to say the least. Depending on your viewpoint, Breaking Bad AI (my unofficial name for it) shows how technology can either threaten the integrity of original works of art or nurture artistic expression.
What if AI created Breaking Bad as a 1980s anime?
Playing over Metro Boomin's rap remix of the famous "I am the one who knocks" monologue, the video features images of the cast that range from shockingly realistic to full-on exaggerated. The clip currently has over 65,000 likes on TikTok alone, and many other users have shared their thoughts on the art. One user wrote, "Regardless of the repercussions on the entertainment industry, I can't wait for AI to be advanced enough to animate the whole show like this."

Read more
4 simple pieces of tech that helped me run my first marathon
Garmin Forerunner 955 Solar displaying pace information.

The fitness world is littered with opportunities to buy tech aimed at enhancing your physical performance. No matter your sport of choice or personal goals, there's a deep rabbit hole you can go down. It'll cost plenty of money, but the gains can be marginal -- and can honestly just be a distraction from what you should actually be focused on. Running is certainly susceptible to this.

A few months ago, I ran my first-ever marathon. It was an incredible accomplishment I had no idea I'd ever be able to reach, and it's now going to be the first of many I run in my lifetime. And despite my deep-rooted history in tech, and the endless opportunities for being baited into gearing myself up with every last product to help me get through the marathon, I went with a rather simple approach.

Read more
This bracelet helps you fall asleep faster and sleep longer
woman-in-bed-wearing-twilight-apollo-on-ankle

This content was produced in partnership with Apollo Neuroscience.
Have you been struggling to get the recommended seven hours of sleep? It's always frustrating when you get in bed at a reasonable time, then toss and turn for a hours before you actually sleep. The quality of that sleep is important too. If you're waking up multiple times during the night, you're likely not getting the quality REM cycle sleep that truly rejuvenates your body. If traditional remedies like herbal teas and noise machines just aren't helping, maybe it's time to try a modern solution. Enter the Apollo wearable.

Now we understand being a little skeptical. How can a bracelet on your wrist or ankle affect your sleep patterns? Certainly the answer to a better night's sleep can't be so simple. We considered these same things when we first heard of it. We'll dive deeper into the science behind the Apollo wearable, but suffice it to say that many people have experienced deeper, uninterrupted sleep while wearing one.
A non-conventional approach to better sleep

Read more