In early 2016 Zero Zero Robotics came from nowhere with the announcement of the Hover Camera, the first drone/flying camera from a company that had secretly raised millions of dollars of funding while staying in the shadows. Back in April, Zero Zero Robotics tentatively predicted that it would be ready to start shipping in time for the holiday season. Luckily for us and plenty of selfie enthusiasts around the world, the Hover Camera is ready for shipping and we’re about to see what all the fuss is about.
There’s no getting around it. The Hover Camera Passport looks like it could be the tech product to buy this Christmas. Sure, the DJI Mavic Pro offers an unparalleled high-spec experience, but for your standard flying selfie machine, the Hover Camera has been built with simplicity in mind and comes in at half the price – not that the two can really be compared of course. The Hover Camera is directed at a totally different clientele – we’re thinking younger people with no previous experience of flying, but that are still comfortable using an app to control a device. So pretty much all millennials then.
So why do we think this flying camera from Zero Zero Robotics is going to take the market by storm? Well, it’s been designed to document the experience of personal travel, bringing together the portability of a smartphone with the point of view image capturing capabilities of a drone. And it looks like it’s going to do those things really well.
It’s been called ‘Passport’, we guess, because it’s portable, easy to carry around, and really expensive to replace if lost. The company says that it “flies without the restraints of controllers interrupting the moments you’ll want to remember.” All you have to do is unfold the flying camera – about the size of an old school VHS – power it on, and let it take off all by itself. Then it will follow your orders and capture your memories effortlessly in 13MP photos and 4K video. Its battery can handle 10 minutes of hovering time and it can reach speeds of 17mph.
Apart from being easy to use, the Hover Camera Passport’s unique design means that it’s probably the safest drone you’re going to come across. Its propellers and motors are encased inside a carbon-fiber structure, so you can let go and grab it in mid-air without losing your fingers.
“Since first announcing Hover Camera in April, we’ve had a chance to listen to our community’s feedback to create a flagship model that is not only more technically advanced, but tailored to their travel and photography needs,” said Mengqiu Wang, CEO and Cofounder of Zero Zero Robotics. “Hover Camera Passport encourages you to look up from your screens and enjoy your memories unrestricted, exploring the world from your own point of view. We’re excited to share our first step towards a new future with the world, and can’t wait to see what our users will capture.”
A quick look at Hover Camera’s features
- Auto-Follow: Tracks your face and body to always keep you in the picture, even on the go, by way of two Auto-Follow modes including Face Tracking and Body Tracking
- Release & Hover: As soon as you let go, Hover Camera Passport hovers steady in place to allow you to quickly and easily capture any moment
- Portable: At just 242 grams, below the FAA 250 grams Hobbyist Drone Registration weight limit, Hover Camera is portable and convenient to carry for any photo worthy moments
- 13 MP Photos & 4K Video: Capture and relive your memories in lifelike quality
- 360 Spin: See a new perspective as Hover Camera Passport films a 360 degree panoramic video of you in your environment
- Orbit: A brand new feature that captures a unique point of view by circling you to capture an iconic 360 degrees wraparound video, even while you walk
- Safe: Hover Camera Passport is both fully enclosed in carbon fiber and boasts AI-based safety mechanisms to ensure the user and their surroundings are unscathed despite being flown indoors and out.
- Self-Positioning: Using a combination of sonar, its downward viewing camera and artificial intelligence, Hover Camera Passport hovers in place so that it’s able to be positioned or repositioned ‘anywhere’ in space like an invisible tripod
How much does the Hover Camera Passport cost?
You can order the Passport now at the Hover Camera website. At the moment it’s on offer for $50 off the retail price, taking it to $549 for a limited time. Too much for a stocking filler? Maybe. But that doesn’t mean it won’t prove great value for money.