Tiny Drone Serves as a Selfie Stick

The AirSelfie takes your perfect picture while hovering in midair.
14 April, 2017
Drone photography has changed the way we see the world, and now it's about to do the same for selfie photos.
The AirSelfie collaboration, led by founder Edoardo Stroppiana, has brought together Italian designers, Chinese software developers, and "Team Tour" specialists who have been visiting nine global destinations to demonstrate the fun AirSelfie approach to taking snapshots.

What they are all keeping in focus is the camera mounted on a tiny, lightweight drone that works with a user's smartphone to make the selfie stick a relic of the past. Today's AirSelfie can snap a photo of you and your friends from distances and heights of up to 20 meters away, allowing for quirky angles, wide panoramic shots, and a visual storytelling experience that's changing how people use their tech tools.
The drone is made with a lightweight, aerospace-grade anodized aluminium case that keeps the entire AirSelfie device at just 61 grams – and small enough to fit inside a phone case. The drone designers went with the aluminium to ensure that the USD$260 drone will hold up well under wear and tear, at the same time that it remains light enough to soar without sacrificing durability. There are four turbo fan propellers to fly with, powered by brushless motors and safe for users to snag while it's in midflight.

Controlling the device with a smartphone app looks easy, with a set of joystick controls that let you drive the AirSelfie high above you for the perfect aerial shot, or at wide-eyed level for your special group photos. It also can be used as a monitoring camera, when it's not flying and plugged into a power source. The drone makes it possible to post amazing images on social media from crowded stadiums, outdoor terrain and other challenging locations. There are three different drive modes, once you simply release the drone from your hand and then begin navigating the air instead of holding a too-short stick.
The AirSelfie has a battery-powered flight time of about 30 seconds, with 30-minute recharge cycles to use again and again, and the makers say it's an intuitive app that makes it easy to learn the drone's use and its limits. Either the drone case or a USB cable can be used to power the built-in 260mAh 7.4 LiPo battery. There's also an AirSelfie "power bank" that allows device docking to recharge for an hour's use.

But for all the marvel over the gadgetry, what matters most about the AirSelfie is the camera. The 5MP high-definition capacity promises quality images – it can do a full HD video recording at 30fps too – but that means the system needs to be stabilized so that the vibrations of the propellers on a hovering drone don't interfere with the photography.
The company says that problem is solved with sophisticated sensors; these include altitude sonar and stability mechanisms to absorb any vibration, resulting in a clear and stable flow of images from the device. AirSelfie also comes with a built-in 4GB micro SD memory card, to store data until you're ready to transfer it.

Not that an AirSelfie user needs to wait, though, because the drone generates its own 2.4 GHz WiFi network and automatically stays in communication with the operator's mobile device. The AirSelfie connects to the most popular smartphones, and is compatible with the iPhone (6, 6s, 7 and 7 Plus), Google Pixel and Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, making it an option for selfie lovers of all kinds.