Apple stores are about to get very, very loud

Now imagine adding drones to the mix.
Now imagine adding drones to the mix.
Image: AP Photo/Richard Vogel
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If you’ve ever been to an Apple store, you’ll know that they’re often a frenetic hive of energy, a barely contained chaos of overflowing Genius Bar appointments and random people crowding in just to check their email on a new Mac or play music on Bluetooth speakers. But it’s possible that things are about to get even crazier.

The Hover Camera Passport, a small consumer drone produced by Chinese startup Zero Zero Robotics, is about to go on sale at Apple stores, the company announced. And starting today, prospective customers at a few US locations will be able to actually get a demonstration of the $500 drone flying around the store.

Quartz reviewed the drone last year. While it’s a one of the most portable, safe, and easy-to-use drones available, it’s also exceedingly loud. And not only is it loud, but the sound its four small motors produce whenever its flying is so high-pitched that my colleague compared it to a swarm of mosquitos attacking your eardrums. Add that in with the giant potted trees and living walls that Apple’s been installing in its stores, and your next trip to pick up an iPhone might feel a lot like an excursion into the rainforest.

The Hover Camera
The Hover Camera
Image: Zero Zero Robotics

The drone will be available at Apple’s online store starting today, and rolling out in Apple stores across the globe. Customers will be able to see Apple employees briefly flying the drones for them, and showing off the Hover Camera’s facial tracking software in store. Apple already stocks other drones in its stores, including the DJI Phantom and Mavic Pro lines, but these larger, more expensive drones aren’t available for demonstrations.

Thankfully, the Hover Camera Passport’s propellers are all contained in a sturdy casing, so even if swarms of drones soon start buzzing around Apple stores, we hopefully won’t hear about any horrendous accidents in the near future.