So of course, there must be a flying selfie stick. It was only a matter of time. Built by Australian technology company IoT Group, the ROAM-e, opened for pre-sale Thursday and should begin shipping internationally in June.
According to Ian Duffell, executive director of the IoT Group, the company’s vision was to build “a selfie stick on steroids.“
"The selfie stick’s problem is it’s confined by the length of the stick,” he told Mashable Australia. “The thought was, let’s get the thing taking the picture flying with you.”
After being tethered to your smartphone, the two rotor ROAM-e can be programmed using facial recognition technology to follow the user at a distance of up to 25 metres (82 feet). It’s able to take photos, 360-degree panoramas or stream live video for up to 20 minutes of flight time. According to , the device features a 5 Megapixel CMOS sensor and a Quad Core ARM Cortex A7 Processor.
Importantly, its rotors can also be collapsed and folded. “We wanted it to be small enough to fit into a bag or pocket. We modelled it on not being bigger than a 600-millilitre water bottle,” Duffell explained.
The company is trying to draw a line between your typical drone and the ROAM-e. “We all know drones fly around and take pictures, but because we’ve tailored it to be portable and in your space, it fits into a different category,” he said. “Ideally, you’d operate it in your own space.”
In the market, ROAM-e will be competing with the likes of Lily Camera, which also maintains that it’s not a drone but a flying camera. The device will cost A$349 ($267) compared to the $899 (A$1,175) cost of the Lily in the U.S.
IoT Group will also be adding further features. For example, Duffell claims, one extra capability includes the ability to drop a pin on a map application, instructing the ROAM-e to travel to that point and return.
Duffell said the company hopes photo enthusiasts will one day say they’re taking a “ROAM-e,” rather than a selfie. We’ll let you know if we adopt the phrase once we get our hands on a test unit.