Imagine having a personal drone quadcopter that follows you wherever you go on your bike, filming everything. Start saving, because you`re going to want one of these.
I first imagined this exact device about three years ago when commercially available drones were starting to become more popular. I remember chatting to one of the guys who organises the Wild Wales Challenge. He`d been experimenting with a quadcopter that could carry a camera, like a GoPro or similar.
But those had to be piloted manually, with a large controller that required lots of concentration and two hands at all times. As a cyclist I imagined somehow being able to program a drone to follow you, based on the GPS signal from your phone, or something like that.
That idea has been made a reality.
As someone who loves innovative technology (ok, they`re just big boys toys – why pretend otherwise?), this looks so cool and I`m certainly thinking of getting one.
Watch the Lily Camera promo video
Watch the promo video for Lily Camera – it`s pretty amazing. They did a fantastic job in just 1 minute and 47 seconds.
Visit the official Lily Camera site
What do you think – does that look like the coolest gadget ever?
How does Lily Camera work?
This is what’s so beautifully simple about it. You just need to wear the tracker, either in your pocket or in the waterproof wrist mount, and it will follow you. No advanced flying skills to develop. Just throw it in the air and let Lily take care of everything. (Just make sure you’ve got open skies and no hazards for Lily to crash into.)
A cyclist`s perspective on the Lily Camera
Apart from the fact that it looks totally awesome, here are some other thoughts from a cyclist`s view of using the Lily camera to film your rides.
The flight time is estimated to be 20 minutes
Most of us normally ride for a lot longer than 20 minutes, but you`d want to be very selective about where to film anyway.
It won`t avoid trees. Or telegraph poles.
You`ll need to ride somewhere with open sky. Version 1 of the Lily Camera does not have any object avoidance technology. It follows you, and if something else gets in the way, there will be a collision.
This basically rules out any urban environment. Personally, I`d only be interested in filming in natural surroundings anyway. Living in beautiful North Wales, several locations come to mind, and I can’t wait to try one out.
You might lose it on descents
The max speed of Lily Cam is 25mph, so you could easily outrun it on a fast descent. However, the FAQ on the main Lily.camera website states that this is “software limited”, so it may well be possible to override this, with the added risk perhaps that stability may suffer.
You can`t carry a spare battery.
Lily camera is completely sealed (so it`s fully waterproof too) but this means you can`t carry a spare battery to swap over when your 20 minutes of flight time is over. You`d have to wait the two hours it takes to fully re-charge.
It will provide the coolest proof of your Strava KOM.
Imagine having beautiful aerial video footage of your KOM effort, complete with a victory loop fly-by at the summit. Showing off? Hell yeah!
Lily camera is available to pre-order until June 15th 2015, for $499.
It will ship in February 2016, at which point it will retail for $999.
Where`s my credit card?
As a tech-loving cyclist, what do you think of Lily Camera?
Please leave your thoughts on Lily Camera in the comments.