When Paris, France-based Parrot launched its AR.Drone helicopter at the 2010 Consumer Electronics Show, it created quite a stir. Here was a quadricopter that could be controlled by an iPhone and was outfitted with a video camera that could be used to do some neighborly surveillance:
- Camera – The Parrot AR.Drone 2.0 ($300) is equipped with a 720p HD camera that can live stream what it sees to your mobile device. You can take videos or pictures and have them instantly sent to your smartphone or tablet with low latency streaming.
- Mobile control – Parrot offers a mobile application, AR.FreeFlight, that is used to fly and pilot the Parrot AR.Drone. Director Mode allows you to program the quadricopter for automatic movements so that you can shoot better videos. You can also utilize the Flight Recorder GPS to improve the stabilization of the Parrot AR.Drone and to view your flights in 3D.
It was only a matter of time for military-like drone functionality to enter the consumer market. And now that technology is available at your local Brookstone.