Snapchat unveils $ 229 ‘Pixy’ camera drone bringing ‘Director Mode’ to Android app this year

During its Snap Summit event today, Snapchat officially announced a new video drone called “Pixy” that fits in your hollow hand, as well as a new “Director Mode” that is on its way to Android later this year.

Snapchat ‘Pixy’ drone

Starting at $ 229 and available today for purchase in the US and France, the “Pixy” is Snapchat’s first drone. The small 101g drone is equipped with a camera that can record 12MP photos and video clips. The drone can record 2.7K video at up to 30fps.

Pixy is designed to fly without the need for a controller, and rather to follow four specific flight paths. The drone can follow you as a subject for up to 60 seconds from a distance of 2-3 meters. There is also an “Orbit” path that has the drone firing from your hand and circulating around you. The “hover” leaves the drone in place for up to 60 seconds and tracks your movement from one place. Eventually, “Reveal” will see the drone fly back to you from a certain distance away. You can also create custom flight paths in the Snapchat app, as well as force the drone to land manually.

Once content is captured, it can be transferred to your phone wirelessly (or wired) through the Snapchat app. There is 16 GB of built-in storage, which Snap says can store 100 videos or 1000 photos. While the obvious purpose of these clips is for Snapchat itself, the clips can be exported to your phone’s warehouse and used in any other app.

In terms of battery life, the lithium-ion battery is said to be enough for “5-8 flights” and can recharge 80% of its capacity in 20 minutes. You can charge the battery using a USB-C port on the drone.

The Snapchat Pixy starts at $ 229 in a bundle offering only the drone, its case and a battery. There’s a bundle for $ 249 that offers an extra battery pack as well as a charger and bumper. Extra batteries cost $ 19.99. Orders are open from today in the US and France.

Director Mode adds new video features coming to Android this year

In addition to its drone, Snapchat also announced “Director Mode” today. This new camera feature adds a range of video recording and editing tools to the app to enhance creators’ ability to record content from a smartphone. New features include dual camera mode, green screen and fast editing. Snapchat offered a preview of Director Mode in the video below:

Director Mode will first roll out to Snapchat for iOS in the “coming months”, but will be a little later on Android. Still, the feature is set to come on Android before the end of 2022.

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