As drone manufacturers around the world position themselves ahead of this year’s holiday season, one tech company in China appears to be playing the long game. At least we think it’s a long game. The manufacturer in question is Yi Technology, and it has done something that’s becoming more commonplace in the consumer drone industry as the competition hots up.
We’re talking about the announcement of the announcement. In typical new-drone style, Yi Technology has announced that in September there will be another announcement. The second announcement will actually be more of an unveiling. It’ll be the first time the world has set eyes on the Erida, the first drone from Yi.
But don’t be fooled by the ‘first drone’ label. This is a technology company that, on a fraction of the running costs and budget, has already produced an action cam good enough to compete with GoPro in China. With a similar camera costing half as much, the blueprint has already been laid for successful consumer drones – even if its brand recognition doesn’t yet stretch into international markets.
So although Yi has made an announcement about an upcoming unveiling, the company has at least provided the specification of its drone and a few images. According to Yi, the Erida has unique tri-copter design, has reached speeds of up to 75mph in testing, and is 100% carbon fiber.
“With the launch of YI Erida we are solving three of the biggest barriers to widespread drone adoption: overly complex products, lack of consumer accessibility and short flight time,” said Sean Da, Co-Founder & CEO of YI Technology. “Like all YI products, YI Erida features the most advanced technology in a simple and intuitive operating system at a competitive price point. Our drone is the culmination of decades of expertise and experience in imaging and aeronautics with a focus on producing a drone that addresses the shortcomings of current market leaders, to exceed the industry standard.”
Crucially, and perhaps of most interest to its domestic and international competitors, the Erida is said to have topped 40 minutes of flight time in testing. That’s certainly a big step up from any of the quadcopters on the market today, and almost as much as Parrot’s Disco drone, which relies on a single rotor.
The Erida will come with the company’s YI 4K Action Camera, and we’re expecting (or just hoping for) more information on its price and release date at the upcoming unveiling at InterDrone, a drone conference in Las Vegas between September 7-9. If Yi Technology’s operations in the action cam space are anything to go by, we can expect a decent drone that costs significantly less than the market average.