As mobile technology has evolved over the years, Smartphones have been built to correspond with changing technological climes. From proximity sensors to finger print scanners, different hardwares have been incorporated into smartphones to either provide or enhance existing functionalities. There seems to be one rather weird but useful functionality every designer have Missed over the research and Improvement period – a flying functionality. Accepted, the idea of a flying smartphone is quite the definition of weird, but when it is able to send back useful data (imaged and videos) to you, the weird factor sort of takes a dive into the Atlantic.
Image credit: Xcraft
A tech startup – Xcraft – has definitely been thinking along these presumably weird lines and the result is a gadget that turns your phone in to a drone or more like a quadcopter that actually flies. Now there we go with the ‘fly’ word again. Who in his right mind will send his phone on an air trip? Well, it sounds unbelievably insane at first, but the more you get to know this nerdy tech, the more reasonable it becomes. The gadget which is called the ”
“, is like an exoskeleton attachment that turns your simple smartphone into an autonomous flying machine.
Image credit: Xcraft
The problem with most commercial drone is that, no matter how good a pilot you are, chances are you will eventually crash. And as if crashing your thousand dollar drone wasn’t enough, now with the phonedrone chances are your phone will most definitely come crashing too. There we have it, that’s probably one of the reasons your mind will tell you to run away from the phonedrone as far as you can. Holy shit!, we are in the 21st century for Pete’s sake, the designers of the phonedrone definitely had those challenges in mind and with a conscious effort to solved those issues backed by technology, the phonedrone reduces the chances of losing your iPhone 6s in the event of a crash. Using techniques employed in the design of full-sized aircraft, the PhoneDrone has a built in redundancy in its hardware and software design. This allows backup systems to take over if primary systems fail – and brings your precious smartphone home safely. It requires no prvious drone piloting experience to use, so the chances of crash landing due to poor piloting experience is quite low. Unless of course you are thinking of operating in the same area with Russia’s S-300 air defense system, then your little quadchopter should have no isues with safe landing.
Image credit: Xcraft
The phonedrone also comes with a design that cradles your phone in a protective neoprene sheath that provides vibration isolation as well as the ultimate shock protection. Xcarft claims the phonedrone can even hold waterproof smartphone cases for some piece of mind over water.
The company developing the phonedrone – XCraft, was formed in 2014 by two flight enthusiasts ; Charles Manning and JD Claridge. They launched their first product, the X PlusOne; a high speed VTOL drone. According to Xcraft “With Charles’ software background and JD’s aerospace and hardware expertise; the X PlusOne was a standout success; garnering almost 300% of its Kickstarter goal and catapulting xCraft into the public spotlight”.
Forget that 21st century crap yout science teacher told you in school, Buying a drone for domestic use these day still cost like hell. Your average consumer oriented drone comes packed with a GPS, Bluetooth and WiFi radios, a high-resolution camera, and an on-board ccomputer . These hardwares make these drones come at a not so cheap price. However, the Phonedrone cost about $250 when released, or at least that is what the company are pointing to on their kickstarter campaign page.
Weight : 350g (12.3 oz)
Dimensions: 267 x 231 x 56 mm (10.5 x 9.1 x
Compatibility: iOS, Android, and Apple watch
Wireless Pairing : Wi-Fi
Flight Time: 15-20 minutes
Speed: 0-35 MPH
Payload : 200g (7.0 oz)
Patent-pending smartphone core design
iPhone: 4S, 5, 5C, 5S, 6, 6 Plus, 6S, 6S Plus
Android: Designed to operate on Samsung Galaxy S II and newer. Will operate on most similar-generation Android smartphones.