If you’re like me, you may have grown to hate the hordes of selfie stick carrying tourists that appear whenever you’re near something worth photographing. It’s fair to say that the selfie obsession is getting a little out of hand. Tend to agree? Well lucky for you an Australian company has designed a super-portable, flying selfie stick. It’s called the ROAM-e, and rather strangely, its creators are denying that it’s even a drone.
*This, as far as we know, is not an April Fools joke* – Personally, I have my reservations.
So is it a drone? Well it certainly has a camera like a drone, and propellers like a drone. But Ian Duffell, executive director of the IoT Group that designed the flying selfie stick, says that there is a crucial distinction. Duffel said, “We all know drones fly around and take pictures, but because we’ve tailored it [The Roam-e] to be portable and in your space, it fits into a different category. Ideally, you’d operate it in your own space.”
So not that different to the Lily drone then? It may be the case that the company want to distance themselves from the regulatory issues surrounding the drone market at the moment.
The personal space Duffel refers to is the 3 meters from the subject that the ROAM-e stays within during Follow Me mode. But there appears to be no mention of obstacle avoidance technology, so flying at such close proximity seems sure to lead to painful accidents in touristy areas. The flying selfie stick uses facial recognition software to identify and track its user, has a 5 megapixel camera and a 360 Panorama single-axis gimbal.
Adding fuel to the fire that this may be a cruel, elaborate hoax, the ROAM-e was made available for pre-sale on April 1st in Australia and should begin shipping internationally in June. We’ll find out in the next few days if it’s for real or not, but in the meantime, you can pre-order your own for under $400.