There are several accessories for smartphones to enhance their functionality, but this particular one will take your smartphone to new heights, literally. PhoneDrone Ethos will make your iPhone or Android phone work as an autonomous aerial camera and unlike any other drone, the processor, sensors and wireless capabilities were removed, as it would use those elements from the smartphone. This results in a cloud-connected aerial vehicle which costs significantly less than other physical drones. The PhoneDrone Ethos is currently on a Kickstarter campaign and while the “early bird” supplies are gone, there are some other options to buy one if you’d like. This is made from xCraft the company that created the VTOL X PlusOne drone, so they got some expertise from that experience.
Apparently, no experience in flying drones is required, and it can be controlled using a single smartphone by programming certain aspects of the flight or it may be tethered to another device to control it remotely in real time and even get video streaming. There’s a companion app which is said to be simple and intuitive. The drone is supposed to be compact enough to be packed and use it in various situations and it’s compatible with many devices. It features a removable battery that can be swapped with ease and it can be recharged by using standard USB sources. To take pictures from various sides, it includes a camera mirror.
There might be some concerns about flying your smartphone over, but the company has packed the drone with several safety features. The Redundant Electronic Design allows backup systems to act if the main system fails and there’s a Protective Universal Mount made from neoprene that provides shock protection, it is also compatible with waterproof cases for even more protection. The PhoneDrone Controller API will be released so developers can provide their apps drone capabilities or even create new apps that take advantage of this new technology. The drone measures 267 x 231 x 56 mm and weighs 350 grams, it can carry a payload of up to 200 grams. It can be paired using a Wi-Fi connection and it can stay on the air for 15 to 20 minutes reaching speeds up to 35 MPH.