BERLIN — If you want a bird's eye view of the world, you can now turn to a drone that's smaller than most birds. Next week, drone maker Mota starts shipping the Jet Jat Ultra, which it bills as the world's smallest streaming drone.
Even if the Ultra isn't the smallest drone capable of streaming 720p video, the $129 drone do until something tinier comes along. The miniature quadcopter is 1.7 inches from wing to wing and 1.1 inches tall. It tips the scales at 0.6 ounces, so you needn't bother registering the JetJat Ultra with the FAA.
You can control the JetJat Ultra either with an included remote control unit, which actually features a place to store the drone, or via a smartphone app on your phone. To get that bird's eye view, you can opt for a $69 headset that Mota sells as an add-on option.
It's safe to say that Mota is not competing in the same space as the Parrot Disco, another drone that relies on a headset so you can see the world from the drone's perspective. That $1,299 fixed-wing drone is strictly for serious pilots, while Mota is catering to hobbyists with its slimmed-down drone.
To that end, the JetJat Ultra features automatic takeoff and landing features and three different settings to cater to beginner, intermediate and advanced pilots. "We simplified it and scaled it down for consumers in the hobbyist space," Mota president Michael Faro told me at the IFA trade show where the JetJat Ultra was on display.
Which is not to say that this drone doesn't have a few tricks up its tiny sleeve. It can do 360-degree aerial stunts, and there's a throw-to-fly feature where you can toss the drone into the air and have it take-off.
"In the recreational space, it's the most advanced easy-to-fly drone available," Faro said.
It's hard to say how the video will look on that optional headset when the JetJat Ultra is zipping through the air. Crowded trade show floors aren't ideal places to fly drones, even tiny ones that feature an optional plate guard to surround the four rotors. But I did try on the headset and got a fairly clear view of passersby staring at the grounded drone.
Pilot who've paid seven to eight times the cost of the JetJat Ultra aren't going to rush out to replace their photography drones this toy model. But it does open up the possibility of streaming video to a much wider audience.