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My Next BFF is a Drone? (AAPL)

seymour_greenz • June 7th 2015 08:15:23 PM

After hearing about the Lily Camera last month, I couldn't help but immediately think of GoPro. Lily is an innovative newcomer to the drone space. If you haven't watched it yet, check it out. The clever video is a must-see.

In the kindred interest of product design and marketing I feel we must acknowledge all of the many things going right here.

It's a great evolutionary product in a new, but proven space. Drones have existed for a technological while now, many are even able to carry small loads such as cameras. Filming with them is a natural fit, as it provides a valuable service, and is tried-and-true. Many shots in recent films have adopted this new technology. Search for "drone fireworks" and prepare for a perspective on fireworks like you've never seen before, all courtesy of a drone plus a GoPro.I wonder if any drones have suffered fireworks casualties yet?

Though drones are being used more and more creatively in cinematography, having them fly around autonomously, following you around and filming you like your own personal airborne paparazzi is certainly a new evolutionary twist. It's a fantastic use of existing technologies to produce a new feature set that solves a problem. At one point in the video you can clearly see the tracking device that Lily is following, by some combination of GPS and wireless control by distance. There's nothing particularly revolutionary about that, but in conjunction with the drone and a camera it becomes something special.

Moments later in the video, Lily is hastily thrown off of a kayak and drops into the water. Oh no, is this a mistake? Is Lily gone? Surprise, Lily is waterproof! Perfect for sports and vacation. This part screams GoPro. Before Lily, who would film your perfect snowboarding run? Or capture your white water rafting excursion? Even if you had a friend who was willing to volunteer, how could they ever get that incredible airborne perspective? This product will revolutionize the sports video category.

Lilly appears to have a simple, clean product design that's more reminiscent of an Apple product than a typical drone. Topped off with a friendly, memorable name and a cute anthropomorphization, is Lily is vying to become the first family and novice friendly drone?

Overall, it's an impressive marketing video with high production value. As a testament to the product itself, many of the action shots (from Lily, of course) are high-quality and breathtaking. The video itself is short and sweet with catchy music, leaving the viewer wanting more. I think Lily is a winner, and perhaps a good acquisition target.

So, how does this relate to GoPro? While I was initially thinking Lily would make a good acquisition for GoPro, since I saw the video and began this article GoPro has announced they are entering the drone space with their own quadcopter design. Also notable, in that same time GPRO is up approximately 10 points and has received numerous upgrades.

While it's not impossible for Lily to become part of the GoPro family, perhaps another company like Microsoft or Google will step in. WWDC is here. Just imagine if Tim pulls a "Colombo" on us and and decides to one up GoPro... wouldn't that be special?

Interestingly enough, a search for "drone" in the Apple Store already returns a handful of relevant products.

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