Snap unveils a flying drone camera called the Pixy

Snap, the maker of the Snapchat messaging app, has long positioned itself as a camera company.

Thursday unveiled a flying one. Called Pixy, the drone’s camera can help people take selfies without the aid of a selfie stick. Users hold the pocket camera in the palm of their hand and select a flight mode via a dial on the body of the device. The gadget then flies for a minute, snapping photos and videos that it downloads to the user’s private Snapchat drive before landing again in the user’s palm.

“It gives you a whole new perspective, it actually lets you have fun and hang out with your family and create videos all at once,” Snap CEO Evan Spiegel said in an interview.

Pixy is Snap’s first hardware product since Spectacles, which were glasses with built-in cameras and augmented reality capabilities. Shows debuted with the long lines of hours in 2016 But in the end underperformed. In 2021, Snap released a new version of Spectacles that allows people to see augmented reality filters superimposed on the physical world.

Snap sells the Pixy for $ 229.99, with additional batteries for $ 19.99 and a dual charger for $ 49.99. The company said it plans to sell the camera “while supplies last” in the United States and France.

In 2020 it also announced Amazon a flying camera, the $ 249 Ring Always Home Cam. The surveillance drone flies around its owner’s house and records video, apparently for security reasons. And what Immediately pilloried on social media as a threat to privacy.

Mr. Spiegel said he is unfamiliar with Amazon’s product. He said Snap’s flying camera wasn’t a privacy issue because its bright yellow color, recording light, and engine sounds make it noticeable.

“I don’t think there are any privacy concerns when it comes to registering other people without them knowing,” he said.

Snap announced Pixy along with a suite of augmented reality products – which overlay filters and real-world visuals – at its annual event for developers and advertisers. It also introduced new tools for businesses that allow shoppers to virtually try out their products. Snap said people have been committed to its products for purchases in augmented reality five billion times since January 2021.

“We see our biggest opportunity in time to truly reinvent the camera,” Spiegel said. “Pixy is the continuation of this experimentation and innovation on what the camera is capable of.”

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