Taking selfie with a drone is new trend

ZeroTech launches pocket-sized Dobby for consumers

Gulf News


Smartphone selfies are so 2016. If you want to take the coolest selfies this year, you’re going to need a drone.

“The days of taking a selfie with a smartphone are coming to an end and the new trend is going to be taking a selfie with drones,” said Vincent Ma, vice general manager at ZeroTech.

ZeroTech is a Chinese manufacturer making drones and UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) technology since 2007.

“The competition in the global drone market is stiff and all the top drone makers such as Yuneec, Ehang and DJI are from China. The UAE consumers are tech savvy and that is why we are showcasing the pocket-sized Dobby drone at Gitex,” he said.

The mini intelligent smart drone is company’s first aerial photo drone for consumers and weighs 199 grams. It is priced at Dh1,599. It can be controlled remotely from an iOS or Android device and even with a voice command spoken into the phone. It will be available in the UAE by the end of October.

According to Research and Markets, the global UAV drones market size is expected to increase to $21.23 billion by 2022, at an annual growth rate of 19.99 per cent between 2016 and 2022.

Ma said the drivers for the growth are the rapid technological advancements in drones. The Dobby is made for people with little or no aerial photography experience, and fits into the pocket with foldable propellers.

He said Dobby can hover or track a subject autonomously and can be piloted manually with gesture controls.

It is powered by quad-core Qualcomm 2.3Ghz Snapdragon 801 processor with 2GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage capacity.

On the camera side, it houses a 13MP sensor, with a field of view of 75 degrees, to capture photos in 4K quality, but video is limited to 1080p. It also features three-axis electronic image stabilisation.

“By waving your arm, it will follow the direction of your arm’s movements. It can fly at a controlling distance of 100 metres via WiFi. The battery has a life of nine minutes,” he said.

When asked isn’t the battery life too short, he said that it is enough for taking selfies.

“It is easy to operate and then only much larger majority of inexperienced users would only purchase this device. The drone relies on line of sight, which means the drone must be able to see you directly without any obstacles in the way as it do not have an obstacle avoidance function,” he said.

The company is planning to expand into other Middle East markets and also plans to optimise the commercial and consumer market by launching more products, including heavy-load logistic drones with long flight time.

Ma said that they have already sold 50,000 units in China itself and it has become a must-have device now.