French company Parrot, known for its A.R. Drone, has now emerged with its most advanced drone yet.
Called the A.R. Drone 3.0, affectionately known as “Bebop,” Parrot’s new drone has a number of features such as in-built GPS, a Wi-Fi radio with four additional Wi-Fi antennas that run on 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz frequencies, gyroscope, magnetometer, accelerometer, and can connect to a Skycontroller that can be used to navigate the quadricopter. The Skycontroller allows you to place a tablet in the middle of it in order to navigate the Bebop drone. Yes, smartphones and tablets along with free mobile apps will give you a better experience than any airplane-flying game app I’ve ever played on Apple’s iOS platform. If you want to connect the drone to a TV or other display screen, feel free. No matter the screen connected to the drone, it will extend the travel of Bebop for an extra mile (1.24 additional miles, to be exact).
Despite these features, the most impressive concerns Bebop’s Oculus Rift compatibility. The Bebop can connect to the Oculus Rift by way of an HDMI port, making your drone experience all the more – what’s the word? – lifelike. If you’ve ever wanted to sit behind the wheel of a drone, you can now do it with the Oculus Rift. Turn your head in a number of directions, and the drone will provide a “bird’s eye view” of every direction. Now you can fly like an eagle, without even leaving the ground.
To complete your navigational experience, the third-generation drone provides a smartphone-competitive, 14-megapixel HD camera with a 180-degree fisheye lens to give you some impressive shots of, say, your real estate or an in-the-sky perspective. The most underwhelming feature of the Bebop is, by far, its battery. How long can you fly the Bebop drone in the air? For a meager 12 minutes. It seems that Parrot has improved the new drone’s capabilities from earlier models, but has maintained the same battery life as Bebop’s older brothers. For now, Parrot sees its newest drone as nothing more than a tech leisure activity, for “fun, the pleasure of being able to fly and go in places where you have never been before,” said Parrot CEO Henri Seydoux.
You can expect Bebop to make its impressive march onto the market in Q4 2014. As for the price? While Seydoux didn’t provide an exact figure, you can assume the 14MP HD camera and Oculus Rift compatibility to place this impressive gadget at above $300. Parrot’s new Bebop drone may help consumers make sense below of what Google and Facebook’s new drone companies are doing above the earth’s surface.