This Beijing-Made Selfie Drone is Coming for Your Snapchats (Maybe)

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6:00 PM HKT, Sat August 5, 2017

Have you seen the Hover Camera, Your Personal Self Flying Photographer? No? Take a moment to acquaint yourself:

Basically the Hover Camera is a drone that takes photos, folds up to about the size of a passport and is loaded with features you’ll either find amazingly cool or overwhelmingly creepy, depending on your disposition. Eg: “Auto Follow — Autonomously detects, follows, and records you in your travels.”

This AI-enabled selfie drone is the marquee product from Beijing consumer electronics company Zero Zero Robotics, who are on a mission “to bring to life intelligent ground and flying machines designed to extend the human vision and their capabilities, while improving their lives.” It was unveiled last October and hit shelves this past April in certain key markets (US, UK, Canada, China and Hong Kong), exclusively in Apple stores and on Apple’s website.

On August 1, tech blog The Information broke the story that Snap, parent company of Snapchat, is in talks to acquire Zero Zero for $150 million-$200 million. This would make the Hover Camera the second thing Snap has ripped off from China in recent years (after the QR code), and the latest gadget in Snap’s arsenal (after its Spectacles) as it gears up to own the internetted things of the future (assuming Google doesn’t buy it first).

Key takeaway: China is truly driving selfie innovation.

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