For many of us, digital image capture has become an integral part of our outdoor excursions, whether to fish, hike, bike or what have you. This is due mostly to technological advancements that have made image capture cheaper, simpler and more affordable. And each of these technological these leaps has forever changed the way we record and share the memories we create when we're out in the wild. The latest of these -- even if it is more of a hop than a leap -- may be the Lily Camera which, since its introduction a few weeks ago, has made a massive splash.
The first of these leaps was the introduction of digital cameras, which quickly replaced their bigger, less user friendly and much costlier film counterparts and allowed us to snap still photographs to our hearts' content. Next came the GoPro which -- by delivering a ultra-compact, impact and waterproof high resolution video camera at an affordable price -- did nothing short of revolutionizing the way video and film are captured in the outdoors. To some degree, the latest of these leaps has been advancements in drone technology, which have allowed precocious individuals to leverage existing digital image capture technologies in a whole new way, soaring GoPros and other video cameras to places we can't travel by foot to capture aerial vistas and all other manner of captivating perspectives. But drones aren't for everyone. They're often expensive, can be cumbersome, and have a steep learning curve. And these facts have kept drone technology from truly reaching the masses.
But that may be changing, thanks to the innovations behind the Lily Camera, which may represent the hop that turns drone technology into the next true leap in digital image capture.
Put simply, the Lily Camera is a HD video (1080p for normal video, 720p for 120fps slow-mo) capture drone for everyone -- not just those that have the time, interest and energy in spending countless hour practicing on a simulator in order to become adept at piloting one. Yes, most drones are easy enough for virtually anyone to fly with only a little bit of practice, but being able to fly them without eventually destroying or damaging them and well enough to capture the kinds of videos and images that most of us want to see is another thing entirely.
With Lilly, the operator need not worry about time spent refining their takeoff and landing skills, how to safely pilot during high winds, ability to consistently maintain a line of sight with the subjects of their film or video and so on. Why? Well, because Lilly flies itself.
Lilly's inventors like to call Lilly "throw and go," because that's exactly what you do. Take Lilly out, wait for her eyes to light up blue (which means the drone has acquired an adequate GPS satellite signal and is ready to fly). Then throw. Lilly springs to life, starts her rotor blades, hovers and waits for you to do whatever it is you plan to do -- ski, snowboard, hike, bike or fish.
Lily knows that you are you because of a wristband you wear that allows the drone to track and follow you and how it does so is entirely up to you. Lily can follow you, lead you, track you from the side or loop around you. You determine how high and how close. Lilly can also capture 12 megapixel still photos. Oh, and it's waterproof -- a detail of major importance to fishermen who will want to tote Lily along on rivers, streams, beaches and oceans without having to worry about it taking a drink.
Lily is also fairly compact and light, weighing only 2 pounds, and was designed to fit into and be easily carried in a backpack.
Thanks to Lily -- which sadly won't hit the trails till early 2016 -- spotting an angler, skier or snowboarder with a drone behind them may become as common as spotting one snapping photos with a digital camera or recording video with a helmet or stick-mounted GoPro. Whether that's a good thing or a bad thing is up to you, but there's no denying that Lily is a force to be reckoned with.
Until June 15 (a mere 11 days away), Lily's creators are offering pre-orders of the Lily Camera for an astounding $499. After that, Lily jumps to its regular and much more expected price of $999. That's a 50% savings. So, if you're thinking of getting in on what Lily is selling, do it now.
Whatever the case, watch the video below and prepare to be amazed.