The Latest in Selfies: Drones - OZY | A Modern Media Company

The Latest in Selfies: Drones

The Latest in Selfies: Drones

By Eugene S. Robinson


Because your lonely endeavors to document your face in space just got more grandly noticeable. 

By Eugene S. Robinson

First there was this ancient Chinese philosopher, name of Mozi. The year? Well, around 391 BC. He got the principle, but it wasn’t really until the early 1800s that someone added a box to it and we had the box camera. Then a whole cart of camera variants, Polaroids, disposables, digital and now the damned near ubiquitous smartphone — remember when they were called that? — and with thousands of years of technological development on the hoof, finally, a stick to hold it aforth.

A stick? A stick?!? Why in the world?

Answer: So you, you lonely soul you, can stand around in your bedroom and snap off photos of you with your hair like this. Or like that. The so-called selfie stick has made the world a 14-year-old’s bedroom. But there’s another piece as well. The paranoia of not letting other people touch your phone and thereby see those other photos. And the best of all: the ostentatious display of personal technology for improved social credit.

Because let’s face it, nothing says fabulous like standing in the middle of a major thoroughfare with pursed lips and a $10 stick, snapping pictures of your face with your $600 iPhone while passersby flip you off. But the beauty of it is that while everyone hates you — very possibly because they ain’t you — the placement of your face in this space and place is a pretty clear indicator that you … don’t care. At all. Self-absorption is so, well, absorbing. But if there was only a way to make this whole dance just a little sexier and a little cooler.

Wait! There almost is: AirSelfie!!! The self-proclaimed world’s smallest portable flying camera has been designed by a U.K. company (Oh, perfidious Albion! — Eds.) that’s trying to get it to market by April 2017, just in time for a summer season of annoying people worldwide. But just like Aristotle made the claim that no person consciously does evil, the folks at AirSelfie make some claims about their drone-driven camera that make sense. It lets you widen the purview of what we’d call a selfie by letting you capture large groups and eliminates shaky arms from either holding a stick or your phone. And most bitching of all? Well, it flies.

“This is mostly a toy,” says photographer Kasia Meow. “But that doesn’t mean it won’t be able to do cool stuff.”

And with four onboard propellers, a 5-megapixel videocam, a USB dock and an ability to be flown with your actual phone, which the AirSelfie is smaller than, this thing can get up to about 60 feet in the air. The ramifications of this? Astounding if you can look forward to the self-same aforementioned thoroughfare and you being able to take photos of yourself a couple of stories away. Close enough to catch the attacking crowds, but not so close that your approximately $300 flying camera will get destroyed in the melee.


The AirSelfie is still not fully funded Kickstarter style, but if all goes according to Hoyle, by next summer? The AirSelfie could be ours!

And despite the snark: We’ll be the first in line.

Sign up for the weekly newsletter!

Related Stories