GoPro has their Karma drone in the works for quite a long time now (and we are still waiting…) Meanwhile, their chief action camera competitor, YI Technology just got ahead of them on the curve. Yi will announce the Yi Erida Drone in one week at the InterDrone conference.
According to YI, it will be a Tri-Copter drone called YI Erida, and it will be a Carbon Fiber built drone. Top speed for this new member in the drone family will be 75MPH (about 120 kilometers per hour).
YI Erida will include the recently announced YI 4K so it will provide 4K @ 30fps. It is also tested (but not verified) to fly for 40 minutes straight. That alone should make DJI and the likes (at least slightly) concerned. Most drones can only do 20-25 minutes, so this is a big marketing point for YI.
From initial announcements it seems that the drone will not feature a remote, but use a dedicated app.
Other interesting features are a foldable design there two of the quadcopters arm fold back for easy travel and a gimbal for steady shooting (maybe this one?).
If the name Erida rings a bell, it’s becasue Atlas – Erida makers, had an indiegogo campaign last year. It did not make it. I find it fascinating that Yi chose to collaborate with the company for a fast time to market drone, while GoPro is teasing Karma for so long. I think we will be seeing more of those collaborations in the future if companies want to stand up to today’s competing markets.
(on the other hand, it means that Atlas’s YI Drone video features a GoPro :) )
Price and availability details are unknown at the moment, but my prediction is that Yi will do to DJI what DJI has done to GoPro, significantly lower their prices. Time will tell if I am right. At any case, we will visit YI in upcoming photokina and report from there.