Credit: Laptop MagIt’s called the Selfly, and it’s a drone that also doubles as a phone case. Now, I know you have a lot of questions, and I did too. But the funny thing is, it actually works shockingly well. The drone is very compact, as you’d expect, and is pretty much separate from the case itself, which is more or less used for housing purposes. Unclip the drone, fold out the propellers, and just like that, you’re flying.
When the drone is in the air, it can run for about four-and-a-half minutes before it needs a recharge, which is just enough time to snap a selfie with the craft’s onboard camera. Flying a drone is a bit harder than it looks — especially when the drone’s camera is facing you — which is why the Selfly is also equipped with facial recognition.
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Once the Selfly app picks up your face, it’ll start following you around. You can observe this using the Selfly app, which is also how you access the manual controls. I had my suspicions about this aspect of the product, but to my surprise, it actually did respond dynamically to where the user turned, constantly shifting around in the air to get a better lock on the subject of the portrait.
Selfly is manufacturing cases for the iPhone 6, 7, 8 and X series (no XS and XR yet, however), as well as the last few generations of Samsung’s Galaxy S handsets. The cases are not particularly bulky, either — the 9mm profile is comparable with some of the more durable options from Otterbox and Griffin’s Survivor series. The only downside is that the nature of the drone’s design blocks most phones’ rear cameras — though the Plus-sized iPhone variants are large enough to avoid the problem.
Furthermore, at just $99, the Selfly is only about twice as expensive as those super-rugged cases, but arguably has a lot of more functionality built in (at the expense of durability, of course). We’re told units will begin shipping to buyers in a little more than a month.