The Auto-Follow Upstarts: Trace
Trace is another Auto-Follow competitor, with its own vision-based auto-follow technology. This drone auto-follows out in the wild by locking onto a clothing logo or similar image worn by its subject, eventually becoming familiar enough with his or her general shape to continue following, even when the initial target image is obscured. The startup hopes to have the Trace smart camera, as well as the drone that it slots into, available in the fourth quarter of this year, for $500. That's cheap for a mid-size drone, not to mention one with advanced computer vision, but Trace's business plan centers on monetizing content — videos of action sports stars, for example — rather than hardware sales.