A remote controlled drone that can be manipulated using either an iPhone or iPod Touch is being launched by aerial gadget firm Parrot, complete with augmented reality features and a high desirability factor.
Parrot’s AR.Drone is going to hit the UK on the 18th of August this year, which is good news as it was only at the 2010 CES event a few months ago that Parrot showcased a prototype quadricopter that blew away many visitors to the conference.
The AR.Drone will be controllable from a distance of up to 50 metres and it takes full advantage of the iPhone’s integrated accelerometer to allow for natural controls which respond to tilting the smartphone.
The most exciting aspect of the AR.Drone’s functionality is its augmented reality software. Basically there are two cameras hidden in the ‘copter and live feeds of the video are fed back to the iPhone, complete with an overlaid assault course, thanks to some clever programming, turning it into the ultimate gaming experience.
The AR.Drone will communicate with the iPhone or iPod Touch using a Wi-Fi connection and the gadget will have transferrable shells which allow you to put on a bulkier, more protective layer whilst you get to grips with the controls and then give you the option to switch to a lighter, more aerodynamic option to speed things up when you are more of an expert.
Parrot says that it will sell the AR.Drone for around £300 when it launches in August and it is looking for developers to work on an Android version of the control app.