With Snap preparing to go public this week, you’ll be hearing a lot about the darling of tech startups in the coming days.
What you might not hear about is that the company is rumored to be developing its very own drone. That’s right, the team behind the wildly popular visual messaging Snapchat app is said to be working on a remotely controlled flying machine, according to three people claiming to know about the project who spoke to The New York Times this week.
There’s no information on how far the apparent work has progressed, or if the project has been given the green light for further development, but the suggestion that it’s working on such a device certainly seems within the realm of possibility. We know, for example, that Los Angeles-based Snap was recently in talks with drone outfit Lily Robotics, though the company has since shuttered after running into money troubles.
And Snap is clearly interested in broadening its business, evidenced not only by an image makeover last September where it lopped off the “chat” part of its company name, but also the November release of a pair of camera-equipped spectacles, called, would you believe, Spectacles.
So what kind of drone might Snap be working on? Well, rather than try to take on big-hitters in the industry like DJI with a large machine that needs time to master and a big bag to carry around, we can imagine it rolling out something compact, portable, and, of course, camera equipped. Something along the lines of the Hover Camera or the even smaller AirSelfie. And it goes without saying — though let’s say it anyway — such a device would integrate fully with the Snapchat app, allowing users to shoot and share in a matter of seconds.
Fun gear like Spectacles, and possibly a drone, may be just what Snap needs to get users to spend more time interacting with its app — important for advertisers and vital to Snap as it focuses on growing its business over the long term and pleasing its incoming army of investors.
- DJI patent describes a remote-controlled rover with a camera attached
- Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Auto-leveling tripods and nanotech engine repair
- U.S. may call a halt to its civilian drone program over security fears
- The PowerEgg X is a 4K handheld camera that’s also a waterproof drone
- This startup wants to plant a billion trees with a swarm of seed-bombing drones