(Source: The Globe and Mail)
Drones! They’re not just for killing terrorists. As small unmanned aircraft become cheaper and more commonplace, their applications are getting more and more workaday. Like, for instance, wedding photos.
“Now let’s say you were about to get married, and you see an amazing shot of the whole wedding party coming out of the church from 500 feet up,” says Klever Freire, an aeronautical engineer, and the founder of DreamQii, a Toronto-based drone-making startup.
Sweeping panoramas like the church shot are one reason that professional photographers have been quick to adopt drones, which open up shots that once required a rented helicopter. But the more photographers pick up drones, the more pressure there is on their competitors to follow suit. “If you’re not able to offer that service, you might lose your customer.”
This is the market that Mr. Freire’s product – the focus of a highly successful crowdfunding campaign – has set its sights on. The PlexiDrone is a drone that’s built from the ground up to be an easy-to-use camera platform.
As Mr. Freire explains it, the drone market is in the midst of a transformation that’s hustling it from the high-end hobbyist market and into the consumer mainstream. Many of the drones that photographers currently use weren’t designed for photography; they just happened to be able to carry a camera.
This didn’t mean that they were ideal for the task. Some suffered from protrusions that obstructed fields of view; their software wasn’t specifically designed for photography, and the task of flying them was complicated enough that it could become a two-person job once controlling the camera itself was factored in.
DreamQii wants to offer a simpler experience for a broader range of customers. While it can be controlled manually via a remote, it’s also designed to be controlled via a smartphone app. It can fly itself semi-autonomously, given instructions to, say, track the wi-fi signal of a smartphone, whose owner is presumably doing something worth memorializing from above (walking, running, biking, riding a horse, what have you). The idea, Mr. Freire says, is that with the basic flying being done by the computer, the photographer can focus on getting precisely the shots they want.
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