The CES 2010 did not officially start yet, but the Parrot AR.Drone already made it on my short list of CES 2010 coolest products. The Parrot AR.Drone is a quadricopter piloted with an iPhone or iPod touch that carries two cameras that deliver live video feed onto your iPhone. How bloody cool is that? (watch video below).
Parrot is positioning the Parrot AR.Drone as a video game for the iPhone. It combines wireless, video and gaming technologies to allow real-world objects and conditions, like a tree or wind, to become a part of the video gaming experience.
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Parrot AR.Drone is a quadricopter that consists of a central cockpit surrounded by four propellers. One camera located underneath, connects to an Inertial Measurement Unit, which allows the AR.Drone to measure its speed and perform flawless stationary flight.
Parrot Smart Piloting (PSP) technology compensates for wind and other environmental conditions during outside flights. For the first time, these technologies, used primarily for professional and military applications, have been adapted to the gaming universe.
The second camera, at the front, broadcasts and streams to the iPhone or iPod touch screen, what the AR.Drone sees, as if you were sitting in the cockpit. This allows for the augmented reality gaming experience.
The Parrot AR.Drone generates its own Wi-Fi network that simply connects to an iPhone or iPod touch and turns it into a true piloting station.
I am not even sure if the U.S. Army has a better drone than this. Pricing has not been announced yet for Parrot AR.Drone. I hope it will be below $200.
Parrot launches the iPhone Drone later this year. The company is more known for Bluetooth gear, but with the AR.Drone they could land a huge hit. I certainly want a AR.Drone when it is out for my iPhone. See also these hi-res photos.
Game developers are invited to creating games for the Parrot AR.Drone on the open platform that Parrot provides for it. More details can be found on the Parrot AR.Drone site.