It’s CES 2017 this week, and that means my inbox is full of new drone products being announced!
A lot of it is good stuff — stay tuned for some really exciting news later this week. But a lot of it is downright ridiculous — or worse — pitches itself as something it is not.
Keyshare Technology today announced the launch of their Kimon “selfie” drone in the US market. Its camera supports 4k/25fps video recording and at a price point of $399, seems reasonable for a consumer product. I look forward to reviewing it.
But here’s the sticking point: it calls itself “the first successful mass market selfie drone,” according to the press release screenshotted below.
As someone who gets lots of press releases about new product launches, my No. 1 pet peeve is this: drone marketers billing drones as the “first something or other” when they clearly are not.
Quite honestly I have no idea what this “most successful” metric indicates. What is the most successful selfie drone? Is it the one with the most sales? Is it the one that has the best reviews on Amazon? Is it the one that appears least in any documented crashes?
Announcing “firsts” in press releases is par for the course in not just the drone industry, but among all sorts of products.
Lily drone became wildly popular for billing itself as the first “throw and shoot” flying camera. Many people pre-ordered it in 2015, yet it still hasn’t shipped. Awesome concept, but you can hardly call it the world’s first throw and shoot flying camera if no one can actually buy it yet.
Drone delivery company Flirtey has a habit of making a big, media-friendly announcement of its delivery “firsts” including the first-ship-to-shore drone delivery, the first FAA-approved drone delivery to a customer’s home, the first urban drone delivery. Most recently Flirtey announced a partnership with Domino’s Pizza Enterprises Limited to create the first-ever drone pizza delivery service. The thing is, it can only deliver to buildings within 1 mile of a single store in Whangaparaoa, New Zealand. As of the end of November, it had made four deliveries since the original launch, according to a Domino’s spokesman. You can hardly call that a drone delivery service.
This CES season, I urge you to be skeptical of the products you see and the things people tell you. A press release from the company that makes a drone calling it the “first successful selfie drone” does NOT necessarily make it the first successful selfie drone. But, many publications will publish those words, just because it came from a press release.
This isn’t to say I think the Kimon Selfie drone is a terrible product. It comes in 5 colors, has 15 minutes of battery life, multiple shooting modes including slow motion and time-lapse. I’m sure it will be fun.
But it’s certainly not the first selfie drone, and I’m still not sure if we can call a product the first “successful selfie drone” if it’s not out yet.
The Yuneec Breeze is a delightful selfie drone that you can purchase today for $386 (shameless plug of my review here). And selfies with drones are nothing new — just ask Renee Lusano, who has been a drone selfie goddess for years. A quick Amazon search for “selfie drone” returned 2,094 results.
Selfie drones are a fun toy. Get your Kimon drone and have fun with it! But beware before you buy it — or any product you see launched at CES this year. Is it ACTUALLY the first?
And to the people who write these press releases: Stop calling drones the first product to do “X” or “Y.” Unless it really is — then let’s get in touch because I’d love to hear about it.