Gamers, sit up! Touted to be the toy for the next century, Parrot AR.Drone - a quadricopter with augmented reality capability and military grade technology, is set to change the rules of video gaming in Singapore.
Unveiled by Parrot, the Parrot AR.Drone achieves spectacular flights with incredibly intuitive handling and enables video games play in augmented reality. Imagine one is piloting an aircraft that flies like a dragonfly, and can see exactly what the pilot sees, and detect targets which will become the enemies in a video game…
Anyone can pilot the AR.Drone, it is extremely easy to use. Thanks to the Smart Parrot Pilot Software (SPPS) and self-generated Wi-Fi network (there is no need for an internet connection or router), the player can pilot the AR.Drone like a bird flies - by simply tilting the player's iPhone / iPod Touch / iPad slightly. Release it, and it stabilizes in an instant.
This unique high-tech quadricopter has not one, but two on-board video cameras that are embedded in the machine.
The first camera, located underneath the body, enables the AR.Drone to measure its speed and perform incredible stationary flights. The system allows for compensation of turbulence caused by the wind during outside flights. These technologies are usually used for professional or military applications and they are now being adapted to the gaming universe for the first time.
The second camera, at the front, broadcasts and streams what the drone is "seeing" onto the iPhone / iPod Touch / iPad screen, as if the player was in the pilot's position. It plays a major role for video gaming due to its use of form recognition, consequently allowing for augmented reality.
The main structure of AR.Drone is made of carbonfiber tubes and fiber-reinforced PA66 plastic parts. The hulls are injected with EPP (Expanded Polypropylene), which make the gadget light and high resistant.
The AR.Drone autopilot allows easy take-off and landing. After take-off, autopilot stabilizes the quadricopter at 80 centimeters (2.6 ft) high. If the player receives a call while flying the quadricopter, the autopilot stabilizes it and it lands after few seconds.
The Parrot AR.Drone has been designed for both indoor and outdoor use. The player can adapt it to any game situation using the two hulls provided.
Thanks to its own generated Wi-Fi network, players can create a game party where others players can join and play against each other.
AUGMENTED REALITY EXPERIENCE
Every game is unique, whether indoor or outdoor. Software developers are able to use both cameras of the AR.Drone to create Augmented Reality video games. The AR.Drone software includes Augmented Reality functions such as detecting other AR.Drone in flight, detecting and positioning markers on the ground and on the walls.
Depending on the applications downloaded, it opens up a whole new world to users: they can take part in wild races in their own garden, or fight against aliens hidden in their living room.
At www.ardrone.com , AR.Drone-Pilot Academy is dedicated to Parrot AR.Drone users and fans. The Training Zone contains everything that will get the pilot started - from setup and configuration of AR.Drone, the first flight, the first battle, to tips for piloting and aerial battle.
Since the unveiling at CES 2010 in November, more than 450 developers around the world have registered to create games for AR.Drone. Players and fans can expect more exciting and ingenious games in the near future.
In Singapore, the Parrot AR.Drone is available at all Challenger outlets and AV One stores (details at http://www.av1group.com.sg/stores); retail price S$449. The Parrot AR.Drone is distributed exclusively by AV One (S) Pte Ltd.