Yuneec just announced their new Breeze drone product. a small 280 size mini-quad with exceptional stability, a hard-mounted camera with digital stabilization. small enough to fit in your backpack. This is not the videographers drone, but the family and sports drone. check it out after the link
First things first, the BREEZE is supposed to be available next month, I will be seeing it first hand next week at inter-drone show in vegas.
So what exactly is this thing.? its a cool compact 280 size mini-quad, on the belly its got a optical flow sensor for flying when there is no GPS signal, in places like indoor in the house.
The video sensor is the same sensor used in the Yuneec CG03+ camera, only this time its digitally stabilized.
The Breeze capture 4K stabilized video and high resolution stills, which you can then directly upload to social media from the app.
The camera can be tilted down as much as 90 degrees to capture the angles you want.
Weighing about a pound, the little quad have folding propellers to make it more compact for transport.
Notice the legs also fold in for transport.
The unit come in a cool compact carry case. and is controlled with your Android or iOS smartphone / tablet. this device was designed to operate inside WiFi range.
Interestingly this is not a SnapDraggon product, Yuneec are using a in-house flight-controller.
There are a bunch of flight-modes. the PILOT is straight out manual flying, you are in charge
The SELFIE mode is meant to focus the quad on you. flying with the camera pointed to you.
the OBEJCT circle is to make a fly-around of with you. but I did that also in the selfie mode.
IN addition you can plan a path.
DO follow-me GPS mode which will follow your phone.
Look-at-me mode which will optically identify a person in the image and pan the drone to look at that person, but will not chase the person.
The interchangeable batteries provide roughly 12 minutes of flight-time, probably depending how you fly. while this seems short compared to most video drones. its really perfect, the typical selfie takes 30 seconds, with 12 minutes you got tons of time to setup and get the awesome shots for social media.
Clearly this is a compromise dictated by the need to keep things small and easy to toss in a backpack. a bigger battery would have meant a bigger aircraft.
Talking about batteries, its worth noticing that the USA base kit include two batteries.
So who is this really for?
for starters, its definitely not for aerial-video geeks, not naming names, you know who you are, some of us want to send a camera 500 yards out to get that impossible shot.. the Breeze won't do that, it operate in WiFi range (I'm sure we can find a way to use a wifi extender). ultimately, its for the follow-shots of you hiking with a spectacular view, and some push-pull-crane type shots INSIDE of about 100+ feet. but thats enough to do some reveal shots in the mountains, follow-me when you canoe, and a slow slick fly-around of your camp-ground fire while you play guitar for the girlfriend. The Breeze is for the folks who want flying camera that can operate mostly by it-self INSIDE 100 feet.
The key to the Breeze's "ease of use" experience is the very slick app for your tablet / smartphone, you can fly the breeze in "sticks" mode the way we are used to fly a multirotor aircraft, however by default the breeze app want you to fly in one of several smart-modes. simply pick the selfie mode that fit your moment best and click. let the Breeze do the rest for you.
The Breeze advertising sees the little drone as a integrated lifestyle product. we see girlfriends on the beach flying drones. I 100% buy that this will be the future, but if its NOW? that part I'm not entirely sure about. the big question to be answered probably is HOW EASY did Yuneec manage to make the interface, easy enough that teen-girls will use it to take selfies while giggling on the beach.? I can't wait to find out.
One more Yuneec video from Europe