Last week, a young aerospace engineer presented a $300 iPhone/Android drone on prime time’s hit entrepreneurship program, Shark Tank, and had the investors clambering among themselves for a chance to buy in. Founder of startup company xCraft, JD Claridge, and his partner Charles Manning, a veteran software developer, have created a product that can turn any iPhone or Android smartphone into a self-navigating drone. Equipped with four propellers and a plastic shell, the apparatus can be attached to the mobile device and sent hovering above.
Compared to today’s selections on the market, including a $1,800 USD X PlusOne, xCraft’s $300 alternative is revolutionary. The company’s key to success is its substitution of expensive components in a drone, such as gyroscopes, accelerometers, GPS and cameras. This allows the PhoneDrone’s projected retail price to decrease drastically. Most impressively, Claridge and Manning were able to secure an investment at three times what they requested, landing at a final valuation of $6 million. Check out the PhoneDrone in action above, and see the featured Shark Tank episode below.