Very early adopters have had the option to buy a drone kit — with a lot of assembly required. But in a current Kickstarter campaign, the Southern California company AirDroidshopes to appeal to a broader audience with a ready-to-operate book-sized drone, aptly named Pocket Drone, that sells for a manageable $495.
Billed as a high-tech camera mount that allows users to video their hikes and bike rides, get higher angles in their shots and appear in their own family pictures, the drone weighs just one pound and folds down to fit easily in a backpack. Loaded with a half-pound camera, it can fly for up to 20 minutes at a time. (A low-battery alarm warns the user that it’s time to land.)