THE POCKET DRONE IS A CLEAR BREAK FROM THE SHAPE OF YOUR PREVIOUS CREATIONS. WHAT WAS IT THAT MADE YOU GO FOR THE RECTANGULAR COLLAPSIBLE APPROACH?
The rectangular design of the Pocket Drone is very deliberate on our part. We wanted a drone that would be the same size as most smartphones, in this case the iPhone 6.
By keeping it this size and shape, we knew users would feel that it is truly portable - something that they can take everywhere and be pulled out at any time for a bit of play and video making, like their smartphones.
With its small size and collapsible nature, any user can simply place the Pocket Drone in his/her pocket or bag and take it along for the ride.
GOING FOR SUCH A RADICAL SHAPE MUST HAVE CAUSED A LOT OF PROBLEMS. WHAT WAS THE HARDEST PART OF PUTTING THE POCKET DRONE DESIGN TOGETHER?
In developing the Pocket Drone, the biggest concern was creating retractable 'legs', as it would not be an easily portable shape in its 'open' form. We were also concerned about the weight of all of the electrical components, as we needed to make sure the Pocket Drone would take off with an easy, stable flight.
We tried a few different plastics, batteries, and even cameras to ensure we would have the proper weight distribution throughout the whole unit. Our original plan was to bring the Pocket Drone to market last year, but in the end we didn't feel all the components at the time were a perfect fit. Choosing not to rush the production was a great decision for us and we feel extremely confident with the final product.
GIVEN THE NEW DESIGN FACTORS THERE MUST HAVE BEEN THINGS THAT YOU WEREN'T ABLE TO GET INTO THE FINAL VERSION. CAN WE EXPECT TO SEE A 2.0 OF IT AT ANY TIME AND WHAT WOULD BE DIFFERENT WITH IT?
Something we are working on for the next version of the Pocket Drone is the ability for users to connect to their smartphones via Wi-Fi. thereby eliminating the use of the remote all together. This will make it even more portable and lightweight to carry around.
THERE ARE SO MANY NEW COMPETITORS WITH SIMILARLY EXCITING CONCEPTS OUT THERE. WHAT DO YOU THINK ARE GOING TO BE THE BIG THINGS HAPPENING WITH MINI-DRONES OVER THE COMING YEAR?
In 2016 we'll see smart features currently found in high-end drones becoming more commonplace for mini-drones. These features include hovering, one direction mode, auto fly where the drone moves in a designated flight path, return to home and. most prevalent, virtual reality. To keep up with customer demand, manufacturers of mini-drones will begin implementing these features.
DO YOU THINK THERE WILL BE ANY OTHER TECHNICAL CHANGES THAT WILL ALTER HOW THE MARKET OPERATES OR WHAT PRODUCTS THAT THE CONSUMER WILL BE SEEING ON THE SHELVES IN THE FUTURE?
A trend we will see is the reduction of costs for higher quality products. Video streaming will be much less expensive and video quality will increase greatly. However, costs will remain the same.
For example, if a company is currently selling a drone with a really inexpensive 300K camera for $100, this year we will see that same drone being sold for $100, but with a HD 720P camera.
SO WOULD YOU PREDICT A POSITIVE OUTCOME FOR THE USERS AND A GENERAL BOOST FOR THE MARKET A SA WHOLE?
We anticipate a huge influx in sales. With the products shown at CES 2016 drones are extremely popular - and for consumers, having a solution that they can easily travel with but still do tricks with and record video is a top priority. As our technology becomes more advanced, mini-drones are creating their own unique class and design.
Every year this market is growing exponentially. What's driving it is the innovative designs and advanced features that are being equipped in these smaller drones.
That being said, I also believe that it's important that the cost of toy drones stay within an affordable price range for the average household income, generally under $200. Drones should be something everyone can enjoy, not just the people willing to pay the premium price for them.