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AirSelfie2 Portable HD Flying Camera

The AirSelfie2 Portable HD Flying Camera is a small drone with a build-in forward-facing camera that is designed to make it easy for you to shoot photos and videos of small groups -- especially when there are too many people to shoot with your extended arm or a selfie stick (and you really need a wider and higher angle anyway).

This second edition of the product includes two key features from pro drones: auto stabilization, so it can hover in place automatically without you needing to constantly tweak the controls, and auto tracking, so it can lock in on your face and keep you in the view even as you move.

Neither of these technologies work perfectly, but they still are quite helpful for making it easier for you to keep it in position while you're trying to set up a shot. In particular, the AirSelfie2 can still drift as it hangs in the air -- typically moving slowly so that it is easy enough to correct with small tweaks, but sometimes and inconsistently worse.

The unit is palm-sized and quite small and light, at 3.8 x 2.8 x 0.5 inches and 2.8 ounces. It can be used outside, but really only in controlled conditions without wind.

You connect to it using its own built-in Wi-Fi hotspot, which should work to a distance of 65 feet, but a distance of more like 20 feet is recommended.

Then use the AirSelfie2 app to control the drone. You first launch it by tossing it gently in the air (from your palm), and land it by descending to your palm or the floor.

It has three choices of flight modes, from tapping buttons for each change in motion (move forward/back, move left/right, or rotate left/right -- all while maintain a level orientation), to joystick mode while tilting your smartphone. You also can raise or lower the speed of movement to work better with the environment and your dexterity.

The AirSelfie2 uses bottom-facing camera and sonar to control its motion, so the company suggests that it works best in a well-lit environment, over flat and multicolored surfaces, and without sound-absorbing surfaces (rugs). Even so, it can handle flying over furniture and other obstacles of different heights and textures.

As you are flying with the AirSelfie2 app, you can monitor the live video from the camera, and tap to shoot photos (or photo sequences) or record video clips. It has a reasonable 12 MP camera with 81 degree field of view, and shoots 1080p HD video (1920 x 1080).

The AirSelfie2 flies for around 5 minutes on a charge. The base product is $199, and there also is a PowerBank accessory (bundled with the AirSelfie2 for around $220) that can recharge the unit 20 times in the field for a total flight time of 75 minutes.

Depending on your propensity for taking selfies of you and groups, you may not have a compelling need for the AirSelfie2 to capture better selfies. But it sure is fun, and a very promising implementation of advanced flight assists in an inexpensive drone.

- See full Holiday Tech 2018 presentation for my local talks in the Princeton area
- See companion article in U.S. 1 Newspaper, Nov. 14, 2018

Find the AirSelfie2 Flying Camera on Amazon

Manifest Tech Site


This entry posted on December 8, 2018.

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