While his friends prepared for college and enjoyed their last fleeting moments of adolescence, recently-graduated high school student George Matus was flying out to Silicon Valley to pitch his drone company to top tech investors.
“That was really stressful, walking into meetings and having braces,” Matus says. “My dad was driving me to meetings until a couple months ago.”
His diligence paid off. Matus, 18, is now the CEO of Teal (formerly known as iDrone), a company that could differentiate itself in the crowding consumer drone market by delivering a quadcopter that can do everything from racing to virtual-reality gaming.
Most drones are designed for one primary use case, like aerial photography for the film industry or surveillance in areas where it’s risky to send humans. Matus wanted to build a drone for novices and professionals alike.
“I didn’t want to build just a flying camera,” he says.
The Teal aircraft is both autonomous and remote-controlled. A user could throw it up in the air and instruct it to follow their daughter on the soccer field, or take it onto a track to race their friends.
The drone comes equipped with 4K cameras and image recognition technology, so it remembers faces and records the moments you want to capture. Its onboard processor moves data at a rate few other drones can compete with. You can even strap on a virtual reality headset and watch a livestream of what the drone is seeing.
Most impressively, this thing is lightning fast. It reaches zero to 60 miles per hour in less than a second and maxes out at 70 miles per hour, making it one of the fastest lightweight drones in the world. Matus brags that it crushed Tesla in a recent quarter-mile drag race.
The battery life leaves something to be desired, however. The drone flies for just 10 minutes and an additional 20 minutes using a high-endurance battery that’s sold separately. Its battery life is on par if not a cut below other consumer drones, like DJI’s Phantom 4, which operates for up to 28 minutes.
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