COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Do you have trouble getting the perfect selfie with your phone?
Can’t quite get all of the background into a photo you’re trying to take?
Six Colorado College students created a unique technology that could help you take the perfect pictures by paring your iPhone with a drone.
The students won $30,000 in a competition for their idea – the Fly Phone.
All you do is connect your phone to the drone and it will follow you around at the exact distance you tell it to.
Now, it’s on to the next phase of development for these young entrepreneurs.
This idea was two years in the making and started in the small classrooms of Colorado College.
Engineers had the simple idea of doing something better.
“There’s a lot of these large drones that are really hard to use and we thought we could probably make that simpler,” said project engineer John Silvester.
That’s what they’re doing with their drone and they’re also using the technology of your iPhone by connecting it to the drone.
“Beforehand you will be able to tell it to, ‘I want you to be five feet away from me,’ and it will automatically set the distance using image recognition tracking,” said Silvester.
That’s just as complicated as it sounds.
“The algorithm behind the image recognition technology is very, very new, and not many people are using it on smart phones, so it’s a lot of work to get it to work properly,” said Silvester.
They’re being paid off for their hard work with the $30,000 and a lot of knowledge from judges.
“Definitely enlightening for us, because it gave us other areas to think about that we had missed, or overlooked, or potential future things to look in to that we haven’t been able to get to yet, because we haven’t had the funding,” said project marketer Kiki Kauffman.
With the funding they’ll create an mvp.
“[It’s] The highest functioning prototype you can get before really acquiring series a funding or anything,” said Kauffman.
This project is allowing the students to chase a dream many don’t get to.
“Before last night we were real iffy on the fact that none of us were applying to any jobs after school and now it’s pretty exciting that we don’t have a very concrete, normal, job. We get to work for ourselves, which is really exciting,” said Kauffman.
The students plan on having their mvp done by the end of the summer, so they can try to get more funding.
Their goal is $300,000 so they can do small batch production to get the product in consumers’ hands.