Snap mostly Known for sticky social networks featuring transient messages and legally impressive augmented reality filters. But every time Snap, which calls itself the “camera company”, creates new hardware. Things are a little weird. This is one of those times.
Today, during its annual Snap Partner Summit, the company unveiled a flying camera, a type of device otherwise known as a drone. Known as the Pixy, this flat, yellow plastic helicopter is designed to be paired with the Snapchat app, to take it from the palm of the owner’s hand, quickly capture a photo or video, and zoom into the palm of the person’s hand, probably on Coachella. The captured media is then wirelessly shared in memory in the Snapchat app, where Snap’s signature AR filter and video effects can be applied.
The small drone costs 230. For 20 more, you can buy a Pixy kit bundled with two extra batteries. You’ll probably need extra batteries, as a fully charged Pixy will be able to complete anywhere between five to eight short flight paths before recharging. (A palm-sized drone weighing less than a pound does not allow for a very large battery.)
Pixy will appeal to a specific type of Snap user, and Snap also knows this: it only sells a limited number of units, “end of supply” in the United States and France. In an interview with WIRED about drones and Snap’s larger AR goals, co-founder and head of technology Bobby Murphy did not say how many he expects to sell, although he did say the company’s goal is to “create something that really belongs to our community.” Resonates with. ” This seems to be in line with the company’s previous hardware efforts. From its Spectacles camera specs when launched in 2016, which were initially only available through a Snap-branded vending machine, to the AR specs shown last spring, which were only available to developers, are very good at making buzz around Snap, from its hardware business. Not necessarily revenue.
This does not mean that hardware products made in Snap’s labs are not technically significant Snap released video-capture specs a few years before the much more impressive meta. Last year’s AR-enabled Spectacles gave a glimpse of immersive and pleasing AR lenses, as Snap tells them, seen through your facial glasses. This new Pixy drone relies on computer vision and object detection technology to detect human face and body parts, so it can follow or “circle” around Pixy users, capture the best possible photo or video clip and then land on the palm of their hand. Can Hand.
“We look forward to developing Pixy and unveiling all the different ways a computer-vision-powered flying camera can add value,” Murphy said.
Nevertheless, in conversations with Murphy and during Snap’s Virtual Partner Summit today, the company made it clear that its focus is entirely on its AR technology. Snap differs for a number of reasons in the larger social media landscape, and one of those factors is its AR technology. (It is also worth noting that the number of daily active users of Snap is much higher than that of Twitter, which has sucked all the news this week due to the purchase of Elon Musk and the planned privatization of Twitter.)