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3D Robotics officially announced on Monday that celebrity businessman Richard Branson is the company’s latest investor. The announcement comes after Branson spilled the beans on the investment last week on the Virgin blog.
The announcement came alongside a few new features for the 3D Robotics Iris+, such as the ability to have the quadcopter follow a GPS-equipped watch. One of the key differences between the Iris+ and last year’s Iris is “3PV Follow Me” mode, which keeps the drone’s gimbal-mounted camera trained on a user carrying a GPS-equipped Android phone or tablet.
This feature now works with smartwatches, and users can tell their drone to follow you, lead you, or circle around you from their wrist. In this video, you can see Branson wearing a Pebble smartwatch, but the “follow me” feature will soon get supercharged when it allows users to stream live in-flight video from the mounted camera to an Android Wear smartwatch through the DroidPlanner app.
If you’ve got questions about working with Branson, or drone photography in general, you can ask 3D Robotics CEO Chris Anderson at Structure Connect this October in San Francisco.