With a few touches, you can now direct Skydio's $ 1,999 autonomous drone from your Apple Watch, allowing you to fulfill the geek dream you never knew you had: direct an expensive autonomous drone with your little wrist computer.
The great auto drone R1 will also go on sale in US Apple stores. UU., A great victory for the young drone startup that has only received orders through its own website. Apple also does not have a very robust drone selection, with most of its selection coming from the DJI giant drone, putting Skydio in a fairly elitist company.
Now, let's go back to the real question here. Why the hell would you need to control a drone from your Apple Watch? Well, it's certainly a valid question. The Apple Watch was launched with a ton of third-party applications, and one by one they seemed to stop being developers, and Apple, learned that the device is generally at its best when it comes to a passive experience.
Skydio bills the R1 as a drone created for the GoPro crowd, which offers a unique type of footage but, ultimately, one that can be self-controlled. Navigating through the Skydio app on your phone always leaves you out of action for a moment and it does so that watching your phone is always the first part of each film shot. With Apple Watch support, some use cases make much more sense than others. People who use the drone to record videos while riding a bicycle will probably find it particularly useful, since the controls are suddenly in a much more accessible place on their wrist. Otherwise, Watch's support makes the problem of controlling a drone in the most discreet way a bit easier.
The Watch application has a very simple user interface and really gives you a lot of control over the drone. You can go through the list of skills, touch modes like Lead, Follow and Orbit and put the drone into operation, but it is also interesting to identify the people in the R1 feed to follow it as well. Everything works surprisingly well on the watch, and it feels like a set of unusually powerful features for the device.
For the Skydio user, the watch is now in his control repertoire. Certainly, it's not going to be the most logical driving mechanism at all times, but if you've been looking for easier ways to steer the R1, you have some new options.