The Washington Post

The benefits of a drone stalking your every move

A drone like this might be your new personal assistant. (Janet S. Carter/AP)

Drones are undoubtedly cool and have captured attention through remarkable videos and talk of delivering packages and boosting the economy. But what about for the average person? Earlier this year at a Smithsonian event on the future, I quizzed a drone junkie on their benefits for the average Joe. He suggested our drones would eventually follow us around automatically and bring us things. Your drone could act as a digital butler of sorts.

A new Kickstarter campaign offers a glimpse of that potential new world. Squadrone System is raising money for the Hexo+, a drone that follows its user and records video. The most immediate beneficiaries would be athletes who pull off daring tricks and want an easy way to get great footage of their feats.

“In the last few years, I’ve really been spending so much energy in trying all these different tools from power motors to helicopters to drones,” said Xavier De Le Rue, a Squadrone System founder and snowboarder. “We really needed something light, packable, that was working everywhere all the time.”

The Hexo+ weighs only 2.2 pounds so it can easily be taken almost anywhere. It is capable of flying at speeds of 44 mph and its battery will last for 50 15 minutes. The drone communicates with its user’s smartphone so that it knows it’s following the right person. The angle of the shot it films is determined through the accompanying app.

So far Squadrone System has found a receptive audience. With 28 days left in the Kickstarter campaign they’ve raised over $450,000 after setting a goal of only $50,000. It’s easy to understand their success given the impressive footage they captured with the Hexo+ for this video:

Matt McFarland is the editor of Innovations. He's always looking for the next big thing. You can find him on Twitter and Facebook.



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