Cameras on drones (or UAVs, however you like to call them) are great fun, but it’s hard to do anything else while piloting the things, unless you want footage of it crashing. Lily is a new quad-rotor drone that you don’t have to pilot at all — just toss it in the air, and it will follow you wherever you go, taking basic direction like which side to shoot from, or what height.
There’s a controller the size of a small cookie that you’ll need to have on your person — in your pocket, or attached to the included waterproof wrist case — that the drone knows to follow, and which you can use to issue instructions. It can trail behind you, shoot from the side, fly ahead or slowly describe a circle with you at the center. Lily is made with sports enthusiasts in mind, so it’s lightweight and waterproof — though with just 20 minutes of battery life, you won’t be able to get down the slopes many times before it runs out of juice.
At $500 if you pre-order now (it’ll be $1,000 later), Lily is definitely an option for the well-heeled outdoors lover. But the gadgets probably will be available for rental at ski resorts and the like, so you can have the experience without breaking the bank.
First published May 12 2015, 12:14 PM