/customers/mobilegamesblog.com/mobilegamesblog.com/httpd.www/blog3/wp-content/plugins/wp-cache/wp-cache-phase1.php AR.Drone, Taking Games Beyond the Screen « MobileGamesBlog



AR.Drone, Taking Games Beyond the Screen

November 14th, 2010 by Arjan Olsder Posted in Gaming Gear, Platforms: iOS, Platforms: Linux | No Comments »

Early November, the AR.Drone was launched in The Netherlands. MobileGamesBlog.com was present and met up with Parrot CEO Henri Seydoux to get all the fine details about this supertoy.

One of the reasons Parrot built the AR.Drone was because the company was looking for a videogame replacement. The idea of letting kids take their games outside the house and have fun with it. To support this vision, the AR.Drone parts are all replaceable by the end consumer even though they have been designed to counter severe shock already and the rotors have been designed to stop directly when something obstructs them from rotating. Parrot will also soon be launching a game for AR.Drone owners, which is being created by Int13.

Other developers that want to create apps for the AR.Drone, can go to the AR.Drone website and download all the tools they need to get started. The SDK is free for use and available for both iOS and Linux.

The Parrot AR.Drone is also the first toy chopper that is able to keep a stable position in the wind. While most helicopters use accelerometers to keep stable, the AR.Drone combines those readings with the data from the top-down camera inside the body. It can literally ‘see’ if the wind tries to move it. This is a technology patented by Parrot.

During the presentation, we spotted a Nexus One in the pocket of Henri Seydoux. During our interview with him, we asked how soon we can expect Android support for the AR.Drone.

Henri Seydoux explained that an Android version will be a huge problem as the drone enters into an ad-hoc connection. Android devices are not able to setup a hot-spot on their own yet.

During the presentation, Henri mentioned that the battery lasts for 10 minutes and needs 90 minutes charging time. Buying extra batteries is vital for hours of fun. Compared with the availability of spare parts for repaired by consumers, we wanted to know if it will be possible to buy hardware upgrades to improve the performance.

Henri explained that software updates will be available for sure and the same goes for the firmware (i.e. sensors). Hardware upgrades are not in the planning for now though.

Going deeper into the possibilities to develop software for the Parrot AR.Drone, Henri outlined that Parrot can support developers with marketing for their apps. In some cases, the company is even willing to provide financial support but that will be on case-by-case basis.

Our friends at TheGadgeteers.nl made a little video of the presentation. Check it out below.

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    Arjan Olsder is the Vice President of Pixalon Studios. Opinions expressed on this publication do not have to represent those of Pixalon Studios.


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