CES Preview: AirSelfie Takes Selfie Stick Concept to New Heights

Among the dozens of demos at CES this year will be one of a little flying drone called AirSelfie--the first pocket-sized camera drone that can be controlled by a phone app.

AirSelfie

The annual Consumer Electronics Show, set for the week of Jan. 8, 2018 for 200,000 attendees at several locations in Las Vegas, is well known for its preponderance of device demonstrations. You can’t go anywhere inside any of the halls without seeing demos of all kinds of things: virtual reality headsets, high-resolution video and audio, mobile devices, connected cars and many others.

Among the dozens of demos this year will be one of a little flying drone called AirSelfie. which was born in a crowd-funded project in the UK a year ago. The AirSelfie is the first pocket-sized camera drone that can be controlled by a phone app.

In addition to showing off AirSelfie, the manufacturer, AEE Exhibit, also will be demoing a new device at CES. Details on that one are to be made public at a later date.

Smaller than a cell phone (pictured) and weighing a mere 2 ounces, the AirSelfie is strictly a single-purpose device: It goes up for about three minutes to a height of about 60 feet, takes photos or video and returns to Earth. It features a 5-megapixel camera and a 4GB SD memory card. The AirSelfie app, which controls the drone, is compatible with most iOS and Android smartphones or tablets.

Demo Set for Jan 9-10 at CES

AEE Exhibit will be conducting demos of the new products Jan. 9 and 10 at booth #26030, LVCC South Hall, Lower Level. If you're going to be on hand, it may be worth your while to check it out.

AirSelfie has four propellers surrounded by safety guards and slots into a small battery case for portable charging; it takes about 30 minutes to recharge. The unit is pretty small--smaller than an iPhone 6S (pictured). But its size doesn't diminish the good work it can do for you. Users can take as many as eight consecutive photos per mission. Content is saved to an included 4GB microSD card.

The downside of the device is that the battery only allows each flight to be 3 minutes long. But nothing’s perfect, except maybe an Irish coffee at the Buena Vista in San Francisco or the view from the 82nd floor of the Empire State Building at sunset on a clear night.

The device allows users to take aerial selfies of themselves and their friends, shoot good photos of real estate or get a bird’s eye view of just about anything. The device connects to the most popular smartphones, including iPhone (6, 6s, 7 and 7 Plus), Huawei P9, Google Pixel and Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge. The device includes self-generated WiFi and comes equipped with a rechargeable battery through a cell phone case, as well as the option to purchase an external power bank.

Vibration Absorber Aboard

AirSelfie has a vibration-absorber system and in-flight stability systems that enables stable, clear, flowing images.

“Our team of 60 seasoned technology professionals and enthusiasts researched, designed and created a flying camera that exceeds all current standards,” said Edoardo Stroppiana, co-founder of AirSelfie. “We saw an increasing need for a device that goes beyond a selfie stick, allowing users to take pictures from all angles, and we’re excited to introduce AirSelfie to Millennials and consumers around the world. It sets a completely new bar for the market.”

Using the AirSelfie, users can:

  • Take group selfies and family photos from up to 66 feet away, capturing both people and panoramas;
  • take indoor and outdoor aerial photos of subjects and locations that would otherwise be unreachable (e.g. monuments and stadiums during sporting events);
  • take videos from perspectives that were formerly impossible;
  • use the device as a monitoring camera (when the device is not flying and is connected to a power source);
  • use the video as a work tool (for example, time-lapse shots of company event setups).

Easy to Take Off and Land

One of the key differentiating features of AirSelfie is its ease of use. To activate AirSelfie, the user simply removes it from its case and turns it on. The device connects automatically to smartphones via WiFi—the flying camera creates the WiFi (2.4GHz) network itself and it is immediately ready for takeoff.

AirSelfie users need to download the free iOS and Android app in order to control the device’s movements through three different flight modes. AirSelfie can be returned to its departure point either manually or automatically. When users are finished using the device, it’s easy to return it to its landing spot—simply press the button labeled “slide to land,” and AirSelfie descends and turns off. Users can also directly reposition the device by hand with no risk of damaging it or themselves.

Using the selfie delay timer function, users can take timed photos, giving them up to 10 seconds to get into position and hide their smartphone so that it doesn’t appear in photos. AirSelfie’s software also integrates directly with social media, making it easy to post photos and videos directly to users’ accounts.

AirSelfie attaches to users’ smartphones using a special cover available for iPhone and Samsung which contains a battery that can recharge AirSelfie in just 30 minutes. Backers can also purchase an external power bank which guarantees up to 20 full charges and allows those without a compatible phone to use and charge it.

The AirSelfie is available online at Amazon for $290 and The IoT Group site for $299.95.

Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor of Features & Analysis at eWEEK, responsible in large part for the publication's coverage areas. In his 12 years and more than 3,900 stories at eWEEK, he...