Lily, the autonomous camera drone by the ambitious startup founded by Antonie and Henry will not make it to the market. Despite, receiving the CES 2016 award for the most innovative product and acquiring more $34 million in pre-orders, the startup has finally decided to pull the plug on its ambitious Lily autonomous drone project .
In an open blog, the founders have revealed that the failure to acquire substantial funding for mass-scale production of the drones is forcing them to take this decision. Antonie Balaresque and Henry Bradlow has jointly revealed their disappointment behind this abrupt closure. With that said, the company has announced that they will be refunding every customer who had pledged their amount during the crowdfunding process. Detailing the reimbursement plans, the founders revealed that the money would be refunded to the same card which was initially used for making the payment. Just in case you no longer happen to own the card, you can fill in a form on the website and Lily would send the payment via PayPal. Lily claims that the refunds would be sent across to respective account within the next 60 days.
The news of an abrupt shutdown would dishearten a lot of fans who are initially pledged for this ambitious project. In the concept and promotional footage shown at the CES, the Lily autonomous drone was shown as a smart UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) which was capable of shooting videos without the need of any additional controller. The activation of the drone was as simple as throwing it into the air. Thereafter the Lily drone would be following the user using a set of sensors and continue shooting pictures and videos on the way. That aside, the drone was supposed to be waterproof and came with a pre-order price of $499.
With that said, this isn’t the first time an ambitious Kickstarter drone project is failing. Previously an exciting drone project called Zano was forced to shut down suddenly. That said, in an industry with thin margins where even established brands like Parrots, DJI are struggling; it isn’t surprising to see Lily’s unprecedented failure.