A new trend starting to emerge is the ability to let a drone follow you without the need of a remote. Last last year, we gave you a sneak peak of the Hexo+ which should be launching hopefully by next month, and since then we have seen multiple “coming soon” competitors pop up all over. Lily is another autonomous solution that will be arriving sometime around February of 2016, offering many of the same features.
There are a few things that make Lily unique however. The ability to simply toss the drone into the air and it will automatically stabilize itself and start flying is a nice trick. They demonstrate this many times in their video (below). Like the other autonomous solutions coming, you set the kind of shot(s) you are looking for using your cellphone. Once you are ready, Lily will take off and get right to work on that. Throwing it in the air is simply a bonus–kind of reminds you of something out of a sci-fi feature.
Another unique feature is that it is waterproof. Because it can float, it can take off and land on water. Yet again, super cool. This opens up a lot of possibilities on where you can take it. For example, we flew the Phantom 2 around San Diego’s beaches last summer to get a great shot of the coast line. The only issue was we were worried that it may have a stroke mid-air and fall into the water. If that were to happen, the Phantom would be shot. Lily however, doesn’t have this vice. Given, if it falls out of the air and hits the water at a good speed, it will most likely still take damage, but at least it wouldn’t (hopefully) be completely totaled.
Unlike the Hexo+ that uses your cellphone to determine your location and follow you by, Lily uses a wireless tracker that you wear around your wrist. With a proprietary connection, it is likely this will give you a more solid link between you and the drone (this is an assumption). It has a water-proof casing so that you can get it wet too, and also has a built in microphone for capturing sound at a distance.
Right now it is being crowd-funded and (as mentioned) won’t be available until next year. We look forward to sharing more as we hear about it. By joining the crowd-funding venture, you can currently get your hands on a pre-order for around $500.The price will be twice as much when it launches (assuming future competitive pricing doesn’t drive it down any).