Even as our next ‘toys’, the drones, become increasingly popular, many models are prohibitively expensive or require users to possess a bit of technical knowledge to take full advantage of their potential. British startup Torquing Group offers an answer to both issues with a small drone (called the ZANO) that it bills as cheap, sturdy, and simple to use.
One of the essential functions of the device is to take photos and videos from new and interesting angles. The device, which can fit in the palm of your hand, boasts a reported range of 15-30 meters and 10-15 minutes of flight time, depending on conditions. The drone, operated by a mobile app, can be directed simply by pointing the phone towards the desired spot. And if the device wanders too far away from the user, the phone automatically drags it back.
The team behind this project set out to raise 125K pounds, but they have soared past that, raising more than 880K pounds from 4,891 backers with another 20 days left in the campaign.
The company says that their supply chain is 100% ready to go for mass-producing the devices, but they are not yet ready to launch. They have developed the prototype of the device, but they are still working on the apps for Android and iOS and are planning to begin beta testing in March 2015. Then, in May, they aim to release the apps and begin producing the drones.
At the moment, the cheapest device still available can be picked up for 149 pounds (roughly $233), so it’s pricey, but not overly expensive.