Many gamers have fantasized about seeing the first-person, top-down view shown in many video games in real-life. Now a new autonomous camera drone promises to deliver just that.
Created by a team from France, the Hexo+ allows you to record yourself from the vantage point of an aerial drone that follows you as you move through the world. If the video game analogy doesn’t work for you, think of it as a kind of super selfie machine.
In the device’s demonstration video, team member Xavier De Le Rue, a professional snowboarder, says that part of the inspiration for the project came from a desire to be able to shoot better action sports scenes. But it only takes a few minutes of viewing the footage to realize that the Hexo+ could be harnessed for a wide array of situations beyond sports.
Weighing just 2.2 pounds, the Hexo+ can autonomously track and shoot its subject from up to 164 feet away — which means you can conceivably shoot a professional-looking movie with a camera crew of just one person. The tracking, which uses the MAVlink Micro Air Vehicle communication protocol, is set up in a smartphone app that allows you to visually position the camera in relation to the user’s position via a 3D icon or live video.
The team’s Kickstarter page quickly blew past its initial $50,000 goal, reaching nearly $500,000 as of this writing, with a full 28 days left to go. Early bird supporter prices for the device are $599 without a GoPro camera included and $699 with the camera included.
When the Hexo+ hits retail the device will sell for $899 without the GoPro camera, $1,099 with aGoPro Hero3 White Edition HD camera, and $1299 with a Hero3+ Black Edition 4k camera. Early backers are scheduled to receive the device in May 2015.