Over the course of the last few years, drones have gone from being massive, expensive and primarily used in military operations, to something much smaller, less costly and available to the general public. Now, if a new campaign on Kickstarter is successful, drones will go somewhere they've not been before -- your pocket.
The Anura Pocket Drone weighs only four ounces and measures roughly 5 inches by 3 inches with a thickness of about an inch. With those specs, it really would be possible to carry this thing around in a pocket and bust it out whenever you need to spy on someone -- or just annoy your cat.
It's got a built-in camera that links up to an app that's available for either iOS or Android phones that can record video (with sound) or snap stills. It has a built-in Wi-Fi antenna that broadcasts directly to your phone, so a network is not needed, and has a range of between 60 to 90 feet. It can run on a single charge for about 12 to 16 minutes and inventor Jason Lam told CNET that it takes about 40 minutes to reach a full charge through a USB cable.
, but the design breakthrough here is that the rotors and the arms on which they're attached fold into the body of the drone, making the whole thing a sturdy little rectangular package that can be stuffed into a pocket or bag without fear of breaking something off.
Unlike some other makers on Kickstarter, Lam has some industry cred. He's the founder of AeriCam, a company that's already built a sexcopter (well, what would you call a copter with six rotors?) called the AeriCam X6, primarily geared toward the film industry. Unlike that piece of equipment, which sells for $12,500, you can snag an Anura drone for $195 (about £120, AU$220) through the Kickstarter campaign -- which is a significant savings off the planned retail price of $275 (about £170, AU$310). At that price, I'm not sure the Anura will usher in "the drone era for the masses" as the Kickstarter campaign claims, but it should definitely get the skies buzzing more than they already are. Time will tell .