The breakout technology this year so far at 2010 CES is an apparent device that integrates real world hardware, a mounted webcam, an iPhone, and an Augmented Reality game called the parrot ar drone.
The AR Drone is designed and developed by Parrot, a Paris, France based company that specializes in wireless devices for mobile phones.
Parrot currently employs 450 people worldwide and generates 85% of its sales overseas. Below is some detailed content from the official press release:
Parrot, global leader in wireless peripherals for mobile phones, today revealed an augmented reality gaming experience for use with the iPhone and iPod touch.
The intuitive Parrot AR Drone, a quadcopter piloted with an iPhone or iPod touch, allows adults or kids to fly in a real-world environment while simultaneously playing a video game from the device’s screen.
The Parrot AR Drone combines the best of today’s 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.
The Parrot AR Drone received a 2010 CES Innovations award for Electronic Gaming Hardware. It will demonstrate live throughout the week at the 2010 Consumers Electronics Show.
Parrot has been building innovative wireless technologies for vehicles, home and beyond for more than 15 years. The AR Drone project brings Parrot’s expertise in wireless technology to the gaming community.
Parrot AR Drone create dreams
At Parrot, we have been developing wireless concepts for video games for 4 years. Our first project was a Bluetooth race car. We develop it, but its not satisfing.
A video game should contain a part of a dream. I missed with the Bluetooth car, explains Henri Seydoux, founder and CEO of Parrot.
It should fly. So I started the idea of the AR Drone. With video cameras and a powerful computer, we have developed a very stable drone that is easy to control and flies like a dragonfly.
Parrot AR Drone a cutting-edge video quadcopter
Parrot ar drone is a quadcopter that consists of a central cockpit surrounded by four propellers, each driven by an engine. It offers amazing possibilities for piloting, excellent maneuverability and extraordinary stability.
The heart of AR Drone contains all electronic components and two cameras:
- The first 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.
An unseen mix of captors (wide angle camera and high speed camera, MEMS (Micro Electro Mechanicals Systems), 3 axis accelerometer, 3 axis gyro, ultrasound sensor) associated with a powerful computer make. The piloting easy and accessible even for the youngest or non-technologically savvy.
Thanks to the accelerometer of the iPhone or iPod touch that detects user’s movements. The AR Drone is very easy to pilot by leaning the mobile. IPhone forward to move forward or sidewise to corner or change direction.
On the touch pad of the iPhone, command buttons also indicate some actions such as rise, down, rotate, move back, move forward. Observing the AR Drone obey each movement of his hands is an extraordinary experience for the player.
Parrot ar drone experience gaming indoors and outdoors
Parrot AR Drone is designed for flying inside and outside:
For a flight inside, a hull surrounds the propellers and protects the AR Drone if it hits an obstacle. For the outside, a shaped hull reduces the area to the wind for better maneuverability.
Each flight with the AR Drone will always be a new experience. Outside, players will have to take into account the changing elements of the real environment, the shading areas or any other obstacles.
Parrot ar drone offers unprecedented multi-player possibilities:
Thanks to augmented reality, it is possible to recreate an aerial fight between two drones.
The worlds of video gaming and radio controlled devices collaborate for the first time evolving simultaneously in both environments.
Parrot ar drone an open environment for gaming developers:
The Parrot ar drone is built on an open platform, accessible to game developers. Developers who are interested in creating games for the parrot ar drone.
A Software Development Kit (SDK), including a prototype of the AR Drone, will be available soon for approved applicants.
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