It’s no surprise that some of the most exciting tech to come out in years has been brought to consumers thanks in no small part to 3D printing.
For those involved with product development, this is nothing new - in fact, the term is often referred to as “rapid prototyping” and has been in practice for the past few decades. However, thanks to a combination of both advanced technologies and a decrease in cost, the ability to get product design ideas “rapid prototyped” quickly and cheaply has helped everyday people realize their product design visions not unlike what was only reserved for professional design firms and large corporations not too long ago.
Among others who have leveraged 3D printing to help bring their product design to life is Antonie Balaresque, whose Lily Flying Camera is sure to take the tech world by storm over the next year.
Unlike what most people think of when they think of the term “drone”, Balaresque’s Lily Camera is designed to simply be a flying camera that focuses on a specific subject - such as a runner or a snowboarder. Additionally, according to Balaresque, the Lily software will even be able to learn a user’s face through a computer vision system that will always keep a user in the shot.
What makes Lily unique is that rather than having a large remote control or smart device app to control the flying unit, Lily is programmed to fly itself thanks to an external GPS device that can be slipped into a user’s pocket. Included in the pocket GPS unit are sensors that will let Lily know if a user is moving vertically such as a jump or fall. Additionally, the pocket unit will feature buttons that allow a user to bring the device closer or further away, depending on the desired shot or limits of a physical activity.
Of course, all of this wouldn’t mean much if the final video quality wasn’t up to par - however Balaresque didn’t skimp over the details when it came to specs that rival existing action cameras such as those offered by both GoPro and Sony.
When it ships later this year, Lily will feature both a 1080p, 60 FPS camera and another 720p, 120 FPS camera, both of which can be trained onto the user through the use of the pocket GPS unit.
Balaresque just might have a holiday hit on his hands if he is able to ensure that the final product works as intended: while existing action cameras are limited to the skills of a (oftentimes amateur) photographer, the Lily acts as an “always-on, always-aware” photographer that never takes its eyes off of the subject - which will alway lead to better footage.
While the final, consumer-ready version of Lily is still in development, it’s safe to say that it just might be a game-changer that will be stocked on the shelves of major retailers alongside existing products such as the GoPro.
Of course, a majority of this can be attributed to the quick development stages that have been enabled thanks to 3D printing.