This hovering paparazzi could get your good side every time. Image: frog
“Drone” is one of those words that perfectly fits the thing it describes, like “gash” or “poodle.” It’s blunt and cold and vaguely sinister. But drones don’t have to be scary, and as autonomous flying technologies trickle down from foreign airspace to civilian life, they’ll inevitably lose some of their creep-factor.
Recently, a group of designers at frog spent some time trying envision what that future might look like, dreaming up a new class of drones that are both friendly and functional—and designed expressly for personal use. Today, drones blow people up. In 2020, they might take the ultimate selfies.
Paparazzi, the selfie drone, is one of the two concepts that emerged from frog the workshop. It’s a far cry from the Predator. The craft “lets you virtually stream your entire life to all of your social networks without pulling out your phone or even lifting a finger,” as the designers put it. A spherical, stabilized camera shoots pics and video from the perfect vantage point, buzzing into position to account for lighting conditions and making sure it captures you from a flattering angle every time. It’s the logical conclusion of our self-shot obsessed culture. It’s a little bit ridiculous, but only a little bit.