IOT GROUP UPS THE SELFIE STAKES WITH NEW FLYING CAMERA DRONE
Written on the 9 January 2017 by Lin Evlin
TAPPING into the instant sharing and gratification market, ASX technology company IoT Group (ASX:IOT) is set to take selfies to a whole new level with its soon to be released flying selfie camera, ROVA.
In line with the Sydney-based company's mantra of creating new and useful technology accessible to everyday people, IoT Group is breaking existing norms to bring the ROVA drone to the masses, in an international market that is expected to be worth US$120 billion by 2020, according to PwC.
"If you look at the existing drone market, traditionally it started with the technical side, a lot of the blokes who liked to fly drones would pay a couple of thousand to use them," says Lynn Larsson, head of marketing of IoT Group.
"What the ROVA does is target the mainstream. We're targeting people that do not traditionally fly drones, but rather young people who are out having fun and socialising and who enjoy capturing and sharing their experiences with online networks."
IoT Group previously also produced smart watches and home automation products but announced in November last year that it will be focussing all its resources on its drone products and software range.
Among its range of drone products is another flying drone camera which has in-built facial recognition, called ROAM-E, released in the second half of last year.
In relation to the ROVA drone, Larsson hopes it will bring more women into the market.
"There is a new segment opening which is where we're playing, bringing men as well as women in who like to share their social experiences," she says.
"One of the things people really look for is simplicity. When you think about drones, people tend to think about complication - how am I going to fly it, what's the handset and so forth.
"(The ROVA is) light and compact and small enough to take off from and land in your hand. The ROVA flies, it hovers, it takes photos and videos, it's easy to use and worry free; it simply connects to your mobile phone and has one touch sharing to your social media."
Larsson also believes that the ROVA does not have the safety concerns and risks which has plagued other drones in recent times.
"From the negative publicity side, we are not worried because the ROVA is not the type of drone that will have the sorts of concerns we have seen from other drones. It is not going to be found on a flight path the ROVA is designed for social use," says Larsson.
"The ROVA operates via Wi-Fi, so it is limited to a 30 metre radius of operation. Also, the propellers are enclosed and it has a in-built object avoidance function, so if the ROVA approaches a wall or a person, it will sense it and just stay there."
IOT Group first began trading on the ASX following a successful reverse takeover of Ardent Resources Ltd in March 2016.
For the financial year to June 30, the business recorded $277,356 in revenue and a loss before tax of $3.6 million.
IoT Group is currently in talks with big name retailers in the US, Canada as well as Australia to have the product stocked in their stores. The ROVA will also be available for purchase through an ecommerce website.
In the lead up to the product's launch, the company will be partnering up with a yet to be revealed international celebrity who will help to market the ROVA to the relevant markets around the world.
"The idea there is that a lot of celebrities like to take selfies and we want to be positioned as the 'ultimate' when it comes to flying selfies so we are taking that angle which is something that nobody else is doing," says Larsson.
The ROVA was exhibited at the global consumer electronics show, CES17, in Las Vegas last week and Larsson says the feedback has been "excellent".
Larsson says the ROVA drone will be available for purchase by April or May this year and will retail for US$399 (approx. AU$544).
Since the company first listed on the ASX, its share price peaked at 13.7 cents in May 2016 and has been floating between 2-3 cents in the last four months. It is currently at 3.7 cents as at 3.30 AEST.