Drones are fun for getting great video angles that you just can’t recreate just with a handheld smartphone. But for some, drones are a luxury expense at USD$400 or more. This is why an outfit called xCraft is putting up the “PhoneDrone Ethos” up for a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign – because it’s a cheaper drone and it uses your phone as the camera, if you’re ready for that kind of risk and commitment.
The question the developers ask is why spend a lot of money on a drone and a separate camera when your smartphone already has that? So they developed a drone that can carry your phone up in the air and use its camera to give you the footage you need. Of course, your camera will be a purely “look down” camera if that happens, so they also developed a mirror system so you can get footage from forward views (using the front camera), and side views.
It’s not the same thing that you can get with a drone mounted GoPro camera, but if you can get it for USD$195 (early bird price), then some people might consider this a deal. The developers “kind of” ensure the safety of your phone with shock protection and a redundant nav system that brings your phone home in case it fails. Also, to reduce risk, you can always buy a cheaper secondary phone (something you might already have) to load onto the drone.
Does this sound like a good deal to you? The drone is compatible with most modern Android devices (and iOS devices as well). The developers are already well over their USD$100,000 target, but the ship date is still almost a year from now – September 2016. Let us know if you think this is a good product to fund.
This is a crowdfunded project, and as such may not deliver what its creators initially promise. Most crowdfunding sites, like Kickstarter and Indiegogo, have policies about what happens to your money if the project fails to deliver on its goals, but choosing to back a project is inevitably a risk. Android Community’s reporting on crowdfunded projects should in no way be seen as an endorsement, unless specifically stated, and we recommend closely examining the terms and conditions to understand your individual rights as a backer before making a pledge.