Snapchat, which had emerged as an instant multimedia chatting app, improvises itself with camera-technology by innovating hardwares that could shoot as well as visualize the world in a more fun-buzzed way. Likely as ‘spectacles’ – AR glasses, that can synchronize AR elements to the real world simultaneously capturing it, which Snapchat released in 2016, now the firm is all set of launching a flying drone camera that would take a video of you, following you.
The palm-sized drone of Snap, called Pixy, the small yellow puck takes off from your hand, follows you around, captures video as you move and sends it to Snapchat app for you to edit and show up to your friends.
“It gives you a totally new perspective, actually allows you to have fun and go hang out with your family and create videos all together,” Evan Spiegel, Snap’s chief executive, said in an interview.
Seeming cute, the plastic copter pairs with your snapchat app, lift off from the palm of its owner’s hand, quickly capture a photo or video and land back down to the person’s palm, when he/she lifts the palm for landing. It’s like a bird – parrot or cockatiel or something, clicking a video of you.
What are Pixy’s features?
Pixy, though not fully provisions the capabilities of a drone, it’s small and light enough to fit in pocket and Pixy flies on the click of its six pre-programmed flight patterns that are accessible on the top of its body through a dial. Literally, you’ll be choosing what mode of flying you want Pixy to do, either to follow you, or just go above your head to take a click and son on. Hence, there isn’t any controller to handle it in flight, as we do in drones.
Pixy’s body comprises of a swappable battery inserted into it, a 12MP sensor on its front face and a sensor on its bottom, to assist on take-off and landing and Pixy is light with just 101 grams.
Upon a full charge, Pixy will fly five to eight flights – with roughly 10 to 20 seconds, a flight. Once drained out, you can exchange its battery with a charged one and Snap says its additional batteries cost $20, and the firm also sells a portable dual-battery charger for $50. Pixy’s camera equips a 12MP sensor, shooting up to 100 videos or 1000 photos and store it by itself, thanks to its 16GB drive storage.
The footages are synced wirelessly to the Memories section of Snapchat, can be edited there with Snap’s AR effects and is then available for your friends to see via the app or elsewhere.
A real-obstacle when speaking of drones is its smooth take-off and landing. And Pixy’s bottom-facing camera gets lined up roughly at eye level as it takes off, and then it automatically tracks you as you move around. When you’re ready to end the flight, simply outstretch you hand, and Pixy will return to your palm. During the first-time test flight, Pixy awed the reviewers, they cheer.
Spiegel sees the Pixy as a new way of capturing moments centered on people, which is a narrower view than how drones have been traditionally positioned. “I think Pixy opens up a whole new space here because your smartphone can’t fly,” he says. “You can get a totally new and different perspective. And so, in that way, I think Pixy is meaningfully better than what your smartphone can create.”
Being small as a kiwi, it’s not designed in the way of an eagle. Pixy couldn’t record audios on its capture and its light weight puts you to avoid using it I windy conditions. Snap also suggests against using it over water and shiny, reflective surfaces that could confuse its bottom camera that automates flight.
Available for $230, Pixy isn’t made for everyone to have, as the firm decided to sell off only the supplies in United States and France.
Snap’s AR Plans
Snapchat is confident and cheerful around its AR plans, and the firm is firm in merging augmented reality elements with the real world, unlike metaverse, which makes you to dive into virtual world. Probably what it does in its app, Snapchat continues exaggerating it to a hardware-level, proffering people an immersive experience and fun in this real world.
The company’s goal is to ‘create something that really resonates with our community’, Bobby Murphy (Snapchat’s Cofounder and technology chief) adds.
Pixy is the second step to the company’s AR interests, after spectacles, and firm sees limited selling of Pixy in the first phase. If people really loved the palm-sized drone and resonated with it, the firm would mass-produce its Pixy, as a second version – ‘Pixy 2.o’.
Unlike Amazon’s flying camera for surveillance – ‘Ring Always Home Cam’, which the company announced in 2020, Pixy will attract more hands, as its being buzzing around in joy.