In case you haven’t heard, Tencent, the Chinese investment giant behind WeChat, actually has a drone, or more specifically, an imaging drone design with the sole intent of letting WeChat users stream video. Called Ying, which loosely translates to sky video, has 4K videoing capability, but will only live stream at 720p. If you are wondering why a messaging app wants its user to do live stream with an eye in the sky, well, you have to understand that WeChat is not merely a Whatsapp equivalent; it is an entire social media platform. It is a Craigslist, a Twitter/Facebook of sort, and a messaging app (and borderline Tinder, if we may add) – all rolled into one.
With so many services packed into an app, it is not hard to see why it has over 800 million active users. Anyways, enough of WeChat. Lets talk about this nifty drone. Ying is result of a collaboration between Tencent, Qualcomm, and lesser-known-in-U.S. drone maker, ZEROTECH. ZEROTECH is, btw, the company behind the pocket drone Dobby which we listed on our last year’s Christmas Gift Guide. So, ZEROTECH is not entirely a new kid.
Key features you can expect from Ying includes 13MP CMOS camera with f2.2 190-degree wide angle camera, smart follower, electronic stabilization, GPS and GLONASS, light and sonar for indoor positioning, low battery auto-return, a 1,650 mAh 3S lithium polymer pack, and built-in WiFi. Oddly, no drone performance figures were offered. The only numbers we got are its weight, which comes in at 425g (15 ounces), and it measures 310 by 189 mm (12.2 x 7.4 inches) and 202 by 140 mm (8 x 5.5 inches) when folded down. And oh yes, it is foldable, so it totally can fit into your backpack.
Want one? Well, firstly, you have to be in China and secondly, Tencent Ying WeChat Imaging Drone by ZEROTECH has recently ended its first wave of sale with a 1,999 RMB sticker (about US$290), and so, if you want one you have watch out for the second wave.