Previously known as the Autonomous Flying Camera, HEXO+ launched its official Kickstarter this weekend looking to raise $50,000 to build out its action sports UAS solution. The HEXO+ Kickstarter surpassed the $50K mark in 37 minutes and, at the time of this writing, is about to hit the $350,000 mark.
Created by the French company Squadrone System, in conjunction with some of the world’s most forward thinking extreme sports athletes, the HEXO+ is set to be the premier solution for capturing “stupidly good aerial shots” totally hands-free.
The various packages on Kickstarter can include a hexacopter, gimbal and a GoPro camera. But, what sets the HEXO+ apart, is the way it frames the subject in the video.
Using a mobile app on your iOS or Android smartphone, you can set the angle and distance of the drone relative to your position within the frame of the video. The drone then follows the subject by tracing the phone.
Its pretty amazing. Check out HEXO+ in action in the Kickstarter video:
After the HEXO+ had been on Kickstarter for 12 hours, it had raised $250,000. This was the benchmark for the first stretch goal so Squadrone System CEO Antoine Level announced that the influx of cash would allow his team to build a live-stream feature into the app.
According to Level, HEXO+ is on its way to become one of the most successful French companies on Kickstarters. Though, if they keep up the pace, they really could become the most successful French companies on Kickstarter to date.
“To achieve such market traction is a rare phenomenon. It can be explained by a combination of factors that give the project its unique character:
The nature of the product: The drone market is currently flying high. It is known for its recent success in the media thanks to Parrot, who was the first to tap the market with the launch of its “Ar Drone”, along with other projects such as the “Pocket Drone”.
Our project teams: The technical experts, designers, ergonomists, and marketing experts. Of course, we would not have been able to do this without the unconditional support of Xavier Delerue, triple world champion in freeride snowboarding. He played a huge role in communicating the project and even got an entire team of freeride professionals on board as ambassadors for the Hexo+.
The work pace and methodology: The project was supported, financed and accelerated by Startup Maker, an investment and acceleration fund that specializes in ultra seed funding. They work to create future champions in the digital economy. Startup Maker brought its unique approach of consulting and finance to the table in order to make this project a huge success.
The Squadrone System team doesn’t expect to ship its first units until May 2015 but, at the rate they are going, the inital launch of the HEXO+ platform could be more robust than they had dared to dream.
“We have cool features we want to unlock with our stretch goals,” Level told Dronelife, “we will soon announce new features that show we are not only focusing on action sports (stretch goal #2). Stay tuned and helps us spread the word!”
Alan is serial entrepreneur, active angel investor, and a drone enthusiast. He co-founded DRONELIFE.com to address the emerging commercial market for drones and drone technology. Prior to DRONELIFE.com, Alan co-founded Where.com, ThinkingScreen Media, and Nurse.com. Recently, Alan has co-founded Crowditz.com, a leader in Equity Crowdfunding Data, Analytics, and Insights. Alan can be reached at alan(at)dronelife.com