“How’s my form?” Such a simple question, but for a triathlete, it can be especially hard to answer. We have tried all sorts of solutions. In the pool, we typically can anchor a GoPro to the bottom. Of course your swim speed is relatively slow compared to your run or bike. Ever tried running or cycling in front of a prepositioned camera? Your time in front of the camera is so fast that any footage captured there is relatively useless. Or, if you’re lucky, you may be able to convince (or bribe) a friend, spouse, or training partner to pace you in a bike or car to get the footage you need. By the way, here’s some of the only relationship advice you will ever find on Aerogeeks—if your spouse or partner is willing to wake up for a 5 a.m. workout to film you, never ever leave them…EVER.
Fortunately, Hexo+ is offering a solution with their new autonomous drone built specifically to follow athletes during action sports. Auto follow is becoming a more common feature in the marketplace but the Hexo+ is one of the first to be built completely around the feature. The Hexo+ will not require you to wear a remote. Instead, you set your framing and the drone follows. As you can see from the screen shot below, the Hexo+ is being designed to give you different options for following. For example, we are thinking that ‘Dolly Side’ will work best for form assessment, but we’ll have to see.
The Hexo+ ships with a 3D gimbal with GoPro mount. (The 3D gimbal helps stabilize the camera – you can see the difference here http://bit.ly/1umGRuE). Being that this was developed for (and by) extreme action enthusiasts, we would be remiss to not share at least one video shot by a prototype unit. If you want to see how the Hexo+ can be used for form analysis, check out the clip around 3:20.
One of the features you may notice in the video is the Hexo+ flying under trees, which we thought indicated that obstacle avoidance would be built into the initial version. Unfortunately, version 1 will not be getting that feature. Although this is an item very much on their to-do list, and there will be a system update once fully developed.
Initially the Hexo+ will be limited to 15 minutes of battery life. If you are looking for longer, you can easily swap in another battery (will retail for roughly $25). For triathletes, this means that the Hexo+ won’t be your new workout companion. Instead, consider this is your tool for regular form analysis (and to get some awesome bike selfies). Speaking of bike selfies, the Hexo+ can fly at a maximum speed of 45 mph, so it should have no problem keeping up with you for that awesome shot (we mean “form analysis”) you have in mind.
The really bad news is that we haven’t had a chance to test one yet. The Hexo+ is expected to be available later this year for $1,149.00. We’ll certainly be one of the first standing in line to see just how much of a game changer the Hexo+ will be for triathletes, cyclists, and runners looking to make significant form improvements.