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Tech Forecast

This New Drone Is Designed To Safely Break Apart On Impact

The Snap, from Vantage Robotics, features magnetic break-apart components and, surprisingly, a high-quality 4K camera.

  • <p>Vantage Robotics' lightweight drone is designed to break apart on impact.</p>
  • <p>Vantage believes it has found a way to deliver a safer product without sacrificing performance, taking aim at industry leaders like DJI.</p>
  • <p>The Snap is already available for preorder.</p>
  • <p>The Snap is controlled via a smartphone app.</p>
  • <p>Vantage Robotics designed the Snap in response to incidents involving crashed drones damaging property and injuring people, as well as increasing concerns about airport safety.</p>
  • <p>The Snap will retail for $1,300.</p>
  • <p>Vantage did not want to skimp on performance in its quest for safety, equipping the Snap with a high-quality 4K camera.</p>
  • <p>In addition to DJI, the Snap will go up against heavy hitters like 3D Robotics.</p>
  • <p>With its user-friendly smartphone controls and lightweight design, the Snap hopes to attract drone newbies.</p>
  • <p>As drones become more and more ubiquitous, it remains to be seen if Snap's breakaway design is enough to lure new customers.</p>
  • 01 /10 | The Snap

    Vantage Robotics' lightweight drone is designed to break apart on impact.

  • 02 /10 | Light as a Feather

    Vantage believes it has found a way to deliver a safer product without sacrificing performance, taking aim at industry leaders like DJI.

  • 03 /10 | Taking Flight

    The Snap is already available for preorder.

  • 04 /10 | Connected

    The Snap is controlled via a smartphone app.

  • 05 /10 | Air Safety

    Vantage Robotics designed the Snap in response to incidents involving crashed drones damaging property and injuring people, as well as increasing concerns about airport safety.

  • 06 /10 | Priced to Fly

    The Snap will retail for $1,300.

  • 07 /10 | Eye in the Sky

    Vantage did not want to skimp on performance in its quest for safety, equipping the Snap with a high-quality 4K camera.

  • 08 /10 | The Competition

    In addition to DJI, the Snap will go up against heavy hitters like 3D Robotics.

  • 09 /10 | Fast and Curious

    With its user-friendly smartphone controls and lightweight design, the Snap hopes to attract drone newbies.

  • 10 /10 | Time Will Tell

    As drones become more and more ubiquitous, it remains to be seen if Snap's breakaway design is enough to lure new customers.

One of the biggest concerns people have about drones is that they are thought to be dangerous: People can lose control of them and endanger people and property, or fly them too close to aircraft and put entire flights at risk.

A new drone company thinks it has the solution that doesn't sacrifice any of the flight or camera capabilities found on popular models like those from industry leader DJI.

Already available for preorders, the Snap drone from San Francisco-based Vantage Robotics is designed specifically with crashes in mind. According to Vantage founder and CEO Tobin Fisher, the Snap was designed to break into component parts on impact. Those magnetic components can then be quickly snapped back into place for further flight.

The Snap is also quite a bit smaller and lighter than many consumer drones, something that Fisher points out also makes the Snap safer.

Many drones are now marketed as flying cameras, and the Snap is no different. Despite safety being the primary concern, the Snap does not skimp on its tech, coming equipped with a high-quality 4K camera.

Priced at $1,300, the Snap is controlled using a smartphone app. The app is meant to be very simple for anyone to use, giving flight control with little more than a tilt of the phone or a tap on the screen.

But while the Snap may well have many of the features, and additional safety elements, that together position it quite well in the market, one industry expert thinks Vantage will have a hard time stealing market share from DJI and other leaders like 3D Robotics.

"They have to have some kind of unique advantage that would draw consumers away from those (big) brands," said Colin Snow, the founder of Drone Analyst. "Do I think they’re able to compete? Honestly, no. I think the big brands are settled in. Unless they have a unique innovation...Unless they’re like Apple, they’ve got an uphill battle."

Fisher would argue that the Snap’s light weight and break-apart design will give it that differentiation. Only time will tell if he’s right.

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