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Lily: Selfie Drone or Camera Man in the Sky?

Selfie stick, eat your heart out. The next generation of selfie images is about to flood the market. Lily Camera is a self-flying drone that follows you and keeps you in frame via a tracking controller pod about the size of a small hockey puck.

“Point-and-shoot devices, action cameras, camcorders, and DSLRs have served us well on the ground and attached to drones, but we’ve always wanted a richer, more contextual point-of-view,” said Antoine Balaresque, CEO and co-founder of Lily in a press release. “Lily automatically creates exciting close range photos and wide, cinematic shots previously reserved for professional filmmakers.”

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The team at Lily Camera seem to have thought of everything. From managing the 20 minute battery life without loosing your toy to being waterproof and rugged. The only thing missing is obstacle avoidance. While the Lily Camera takes care of getting in the air and following you, you are still the pilot by virtue of your actions. If you run into the woods, Lily will follow and not know better to dodge branches, buildings, power lines or other flying objects.

There are a number of shooting modes available. For shots of you standing still or getting ready in one place, you can set Lily to loop around you. There’s also an approach or “fly up” mode. When you get going, switch Lily to follow, lead or slide mode and you’re good to go. Launching Lily was made simple by just tossing it into the air. Landing is controlled by two long clicks of the tracking puck. The first long click brings Lily to a hover a few feet over the tracker. The second long click tells Lily to slowly descend so you can catch it in the palm of your hand.

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Another sweet feature is the audio. To avoid that drone whine (or at least to minimize it), audio is recorded on the tracking puck then synchronized with the video when the two are downloaded. While you might still hear the buzzing in the distance, the sounds immediately around the tracker are what will be most prominent.

All this description is fine and dandy, but the real teller is the video below. Specs from the press release are also below and Lily Camera is currently taking pre-orders to get this gadget for $499. Expected delivery is early 2016 and by then the price for the naysayers who declined the pre-order will bump to a cool grand. Are you going to get yours?


  • Throw it in air to start shooting
  • Flies itself, no controller required
  • Waterproof
  • Sleek design, fits in backpack, 2.8 lbs
  • Photos: 12 MP, Video: 1080p/60fps & 720p/120fps
  • Sony IMX117 1/2.3’’ image sensor
  • Programmable flight paths via mobile app
  • 20 minutes flight time
  • Optimal flying: Outdoors 10-30 ft, up to 25 mph
  • Audio recording from tracking device
  • Complies with FAA guidelines

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