Forbes is reporting that Lily, the flying camera, has raked in $34 million in pre-orders for its flying camera which the company now says will be released in the summer of 2016. They revised the launch date. Initially it was expected in February of 2016. You can buy it from their web site. While they are collecting money, they are not yet collecting addresses. They’ll ask for those later. The concern is that purchasers might move between the time they pay and the time the camera is ready to be shipped to them.
The Lily is a throw and shoot flying camera that follows you. It can travel at up to 25 MPH at a distance of between 10 and 30 feet. It has a sleek design and is relatively inexpensive. You can pre-order for $799. The price when product is officially released will be $999.
The Lily also won a Best of Innovations award for Unmanned Systems and Accessories over FLIR, Parrot Bebop, Parrot Disco, Parrot Hydrofoil, Padrone Byrd, Airmap, and Smart Shelf System from Wistron. Some of these products you can actually buy and use now.
The Lily was cited as being the “first throw and shoot” drone which may or may not prove to be true. The Parrot Disco another yet to be released product also has the capability of being launched by simply tossing in the air. The awards left some scratching their heads. Is an innovation truly an innovation if it is not commercially available? If so, is the Lily really more innovative than the Parrot Disco?
Another drone that is racing Lily to a release date is the Airdog. You can’t toss up the Airdog but its capabilities and key selling prop put it squarely in competition with the Lily. It is labeled at the “world’s first autofollow drone for adventure sports.”At $1599 it is more expensive but it is also a bit more sophisticated in its “follow me” capabilities. It comes with 5 “scenarios” for presetting a flight path relative to you (e.g. Surf, Skateboard etc). It also does not come with a camera though you can plug a GoPro into it. The company is estimating a release date of April 2016.
Frank Schroth is editor in chief of DroneLife, the authoritative source for news and analysis on the drone industry: it’s people, products, trends, and events.