Imagine pulling a camera out of your pocket, throwing it into the air and having it follow you around, capturing everything you do. Can you? Well, that’s exactly what Drofie does. #Drofie will be the next most popular hash-tag just like #selfie few years ago – says Drofie founder & CEO Mohamed Ghaith, who answered to some Labs of Latvia questions regarding company’s future.
Local newspaper once called Latvia a drone superpower. Do you agree with this statement?
Yes, I somehow agree on this; Latvia have very innovative drone companies with global potential; also Latvian government is very supportive and adaptive for the drone industry. They have used it in many applications such as protection of fish populations, as well as telecommunications infrastructure and others.
I think it all comes to regulations and laws: the more freedom you give the more innovative projects you will have. In many countries around the world “drones” are completely prohibited.
Are you still working on Drofie’s improvement? Is this the reason you’re going to Kickstart Accelerator?
We are continuously working on improving Drofie to achieve the ultimate aerial shots experience for our users. Behind Drofie is very sophisticated technology, starting from making it adaptive to weather conditions or any other external effects to optical flow technology and image processing that guarantees stable aerial shots. We are creating a smart gadget, a smart camera for your pocket not just a small drone.
With that kind of engineering approach, it will allow you to have a lot of fun. It is easily controllable with your smart-phone, just like playing a video game. Relax, enjoy the moments and just have fun, and never worry about your own safety or others!
Kickstart Accelerator program have very experienced mentors who are part of ETH Zurich – IRIS Institute of robotics and intelligence systems that have very high-tech prototyping facilities and with brain storming and the technology available.
Drofie will do what Apple did to smart phones. Mark my words: “in the next few years the aerial shots will be the trend just like the selfie few years ago – every person who owns smart phone will have Drofie next to it in his pocket”. Just imagine the integration possibilities with your smart phone – its endless.
From the business side, Switzerland is very strong and innovative technology/startup hub in Europe, it has top global banks as well as very active ecosystem, also with the 25,000 CHF funding it will help us create traction and momentum to raise the other seed round which we will launch soon.
Is Drofie just a brilliant idea, or this product is a result of your technological know how?
Drofie is innovative device indeed, and it was built out of need. All nano drones/small drones in the market today can shoot aerial videos but none of them can take still stable shots/images and this is due to many factors such as stability, vibrations and many more.
This reminds me of Robert Herjavec, the tech billionaire and shark tank investor when he said: "Don't start a business. Find a problem, solve a problem, the business comes second" . And that’s exactly what happened with Drofie – we solved the problem.
While of course keeping in mind the weight and size to be FAA regulated so our users won’t need license to own or operate Drofie.
We also know that today personalization is very important. So it comes in a variety of colors, for everyone’s taste.
Can you tell a little bit more about the team behind Drofie?
People, people, people, then product – the people behind Drofie are innovative, smart and passionate engineers, industrial designers, iOS/Android developers.
We are team of 7 people now and growing, almost every other day we receive emails from people who believe in our project and want to be part of it. Till this moment we have been self-funded that means we are all in and have enough skin in the project. And that comes from the strong believe in what we do and what we create.
When Drofie will be available for customers?
To have the final product with no errors or faults that will need little bit of time. I think we might announce that after Kickstart accelerator.
What is expected price?
We expect it in the range of $349 - $399, but of course once we launch our crowd-funding campaign we will have early bird in lower price.
Selfie stick is a reflection of human weakness. Flying selfie stick is more than that, don’t you agree?
I wouldn't call it human weakness; I would instead use “it creates limitations to what you can do with it.” Yes of course I agree that selfie stick cannot give you the full experience – that’s why Drofie was born.
Drofie represents itself as whole new category of hover camera/ hover device that fits in your pocket and it is the same size as your smart-phone, a device that can stabilize itself fully either indoors or outdoors, in low altitude or high altitude to capture stable still images. So it’s a hover camera, it hovers in the air where you leave it.
With Drofie you won’t ever have to worry about the angle you are shooting from. It is stable and easily controllable with any Android or iOS device. It even works without you controlling it just by turning on auto-follow mode.
You are running, biking, hiking or even standing still? Drofie will professionally capture your every valuable moment. Stream directly to your smart-phone and never miss another moment you want to record. You never know when you will want to capture something, and to have a small device that you can carry around all the time is just precious.
Remember this: #Drofie will be the next most popular hash-tag just like #selfie few years ago. And the reason behind it is that we deliver the experience not just the device. Drofie have two words “drone” and “selfie”, so whenever you taking aerial still image it is by default a #Drofie.
How do you imagine future world with drones invasion?
I believe that drone industry will continue growing rapidly, as of today it is $4 billion industry and with many applications and new technology evolving it will continue growing in many horizons.
I believe that in the coming years, owning a drone will be same as owning smart phone, especially when there are many integrations and use cases happening today like virtual reality, home security, aerial surveillance and even sports and much more.
The only big question will be how would the government reacted to it, what kind of regulations and limitation they would pose.