The device will hit the shelves of Apple stores today in five countries and regions of United States, Canada, China, Hong Kong, and the United Kingdom, the company told TechNode, adding that the gadget will be available in additional countries next month.
The company is also offering a discount price for the Apple-exclusive bundle (US$ 499.95), which includes a Passport, the flagship travel-friendly size flying camera, along with the essentials: two batteries, one charger, adapter and an easy-carry bag.
Launched in October last year, Passport is among a slew of AI-enabled camera drones which allow users to close-up photos and videos. Now entering a new partnership with Apple, the company has made several updates to enable better integration with Apple’s video capabilities like iMovie and Final Cut Pro X as well as easier sharing and editing from Apple devices. In addition, a new user interface has been integrated into the Passport and its companion app, which supports automated media editing.
Driven by the drone boom, portable flying-camera startups have gained a lot of traction last year. Many of the similar companies, such as Snap, Lily, Staaker, have received a lot of attention, doing well with booking preorders, however, that’s no guarantee for success. Lily, the autonomous camera drone that sold a whopping $34 million in preorders, shut down in January this year. Hover Camera is one of the first to ship their product.
Currently, Hover Camera has limited distribution channels in overseas markets with its official website only supporting shipment to the U.S. The new partnership with Apple will significantly enhance its presence in the global market.
More importantly, there’s an obvious customer crossover in the tie-up. A majority of Apple users are Hover Camera’s potential buyers, who would use Apple devices to control shoot and edit footages from the startup’s product. Actually, this is also the logic that works with Apple’s partnership with another Chinese drone manufacturer DJI one year ago.
“We’re thrilled to bring autonomous flying photography into the hands of consumers who are excited by truly innovative technology that impact their everyday lives,” said MQ Wang, founder and CEO of Zero Zero Robotics. “We want more customers to capture their memories in a near-effortless way through breathtaking perspectives that can only be achieved through Hover Camera Passport.”
Zero Zero Robotics was co-founded in 2014 by former Twitter software engineer and Stanford Ph.D., MQ Wang, and Stanford Ph.D. Tony Zhang.