I Must Be Getting Old: Turning Your Smartphone into a Drone Sounds Like the Worst Best Idea Ever

by Hugh Brownstone2 Comments

On the one hand, the PhoneDrone Ethos is already a runaway success on Kickstarter, closing in on 300% of its funding goal of $100,000 with time still remaining. And it’s very cool: a mini drone chassis into which you place your smartphone, controllable by another smartphone or even an Apple Watch.

Even the price is incredible, with pledges from $195 and up garnering you your own Ethos drone for iOS or Android (the $195 pledges are sold out, so at the moment you’re looking at a minimum of $235 to get in).

But I’m thinking about somebody backpacking in Grand Canyon with the Ethos looking for the shot of a lifetime – and getting it, only to have it fly off or simply drop out of the sky.

Now you’re out one iPhone AND your only communication to the outside world, which you now need because you’ve hiked too far in for said perfect shot.

They find your body days later, with an iPhone a quarter of a mile away, unidentifiable because it was pulverized from the drop.

The last time I felt like this, I bought the piece of gear I had doubts about simply to prove to myself that I wasn’t ossifying in place. That device?

An Apple Newton.

Just saying.

Which does not mean that we don’t wish JD Claridge and his team great success. We do.

PhoneDrone Ethos – A whole new dimension for your smartphone

Via Kickstarter:

Since their inception, smartphones have been confined to only two dimensions – limited to roam the earth at ground level. It's time to set your smartphone free! Grant your smartphone access to the third dimension with PhoneDrone Ethos!

PhoneDrone Ethos 1

PhoneDrone Ethos is a remarkable device that gives your smartphone wings, allowing you to deploy your iPhone or Android phone as an autonomous aerial camera.

PhoneDrone Ethos 2

Why is this revolutionary? We’ve leveraged the sensor, processor, and wireless capability of your smartphone. What you get is a powerful, cloud-connected aerial vehicle for a fraction of the cost of a typical drone.

PhoneDrone Ethos 3

Powerful Features

  • Easy to use – No drone experience necessary.
  • Affordable -Your smartphone already has a powerful processor and multiple sensors.  Why pay for all those things over again when buying a drone?
  • Familiar – Our companion app is simple and intuitive.
  • Packable- Pack PhoneDrone Ethos for next adventure.  It will be ready at a moment's notice.
  • Compatible with all your devices – iOS, Android, and even Apple Watch!
  • Control and video streaming -Easily tether to another mobile device for control and video streaming.
  • Built in charger – Charge from any USB source – or swap batteries for extended flight times.
  • A camera mirror – Shoot straight down, forward, or to the side!

Learn more about the PhoneDrone Ethos at their Kickstarter campaign page.

(cover photo credit: snap from Kickstarter)

Hugh Brownstone

Hugh Brownstone

Hugh is the founder of Three Blind Men and An Elephant Productions. He and the team write, direct, shoot, score, and edit web-centric films; conduct photo shoots; and write copy, white papers and blog posts. Hugh also writes screenplays (he recently optioned a TV pilot) and just published his first eBook (Apple's iPhone: The Next Video Revolution). If it's about telling stories, it's in their wheelhouse.

And always with the ambition of authenticity, humanity and wit.
Hugh Brownstone


  1. One point to your Grand Canyon reference,, any drone is illegal in National Parks.

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