Last night at CES Unveiled, the last thing I expected to see was a four propeller helicopter flying through the air. But Parrot, makers of numerous Bluetooth devices, quickly assured me that it wasn’t just a flying toy. The Parrot AR.Drone is actually controlled by your iPhone or iPod Touch via Wi-Fi by utlizing the iPhone’s accelerometer coupled with realtime feedback from the Drone’s two on-board cameras. One camera monitors the Drone’s position while the other streams the view from the cockpit back to your iPhone. Tilt your phone and the Drone moves in response.
What’s really cool about the Drone is that you’re not just controlling its movements, you’re controlling them in the context of an augmented reality game. If there’s a tree in front of you outside, it becomes an object to fly around in the game. Parrot is releasing an SDK and we’re really excited to see what developers come up with.
The Parrot AR.Drone will be available later in 2010, but take a quick look at the Drone in action below.