We’ve seen it in Paris last month, but the Parrot A.R.Drone has done quite an impression at CES Unveiled. First a lot of “huh??” because Parrot is mainly known for its Bluetooth hands-free devices. Secondly, because the demo unit was working really well as it hovered at the entrance of the show. It sure did attract a lot of attention. I was lucky enough to try it myself last month, at CES Unveiled, only the Parrot employees were conducting the demos. Piloting is easy to learn, you just have to tilt your iPhone slightly in the direction you want the quadricopter to fly and you can see where you are going on the phone’s screen as well, thanks to the camera embedded in front of the bird. The Smart Parrot Piloting Software (SPPS) uses the phone’s motion sensor, an inertial unit, ultrasound sensors and a vertical camera under the cockpit of the A.R. drone, according to Parrot, the combination of these elements offers a great accuracy in the controls, I have tried it and I can confirm the company’s statement.
I kept the best for the end: The Parrot Drone has been built to play games using augmented reality and because it uses the wifi network, several users will be able to play against each other. 3D elements can be added on top of that. Finally, it’s an open source platform, so we should see hacks pretty soon, if you feel like developing an app, go to www.ardrone.org.