Meet the Hover Camera Passport, Your Personal Selfie Drone
The small drone features a cage that protects the the rotors from damage -- and you from injury.
Selfie drones are a thing. We've seen a few models with the sole purpose of following you around, taking video and snapping pictures of you when you're adventuring or doing something as banal as grocery shopping.
The Hover Camera Passport, on display at CES, is another of these small, portable aircraft. It has some design advantages when compared with others we've reviewed, including the Dobby, in that its rotors are protected by a plastic cage. This prevents them from getting damaged in flight, and prevents you from inadvertent injury.
It sports a camera that can capture stills at 13-megapixel quality and video at 4K resolution. And, because of it small, lightweight design, no FAA registration is required. The Passport is controlled via a smartphone app (Android and iOS are supported), and can track your movements based on the location of your phone, or track a subject using facial recognition.
The folding design is a big plus for folks who want to own a drone, but not a serious high flyer like the DJI Phantom 4. It can fly at speeds up to 17mph (about a third of what the Phantom is capable of), but while you can take a big drone and fly it up to a mile away from home base, Hover Camera recommends that you keep the Passport within 65 feet (20 meters) of your phone. A short battery life is a big reason for that -- you can expect it to hover in place for just 10 minutes on a fully charged battery.
It's on sale now, but you may balk at the $599 price, which is a lot to ask for a personal selfie drone. You can get a very capable DJI Phantom 3 Standard for less, after all. But if you love capturing your own image, and want to put an aerial spin on your selfies, the Passport looks like a promising option for narcissists with deep pockets.
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