Parrot Unveils Augmented Reality Gaming Experience for iPhone(TM) and iPod touch(R) at 2010 Consumer Electronics Show

Parrot AR.Drone allows video games to become reality.

Jan 05, 2010, 19:00 ET from Parrot

LAS VEGAS, Jan. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Parrot, global leader in wireless peripherals for mobile phones, today reveals an augmented reality gaming experience for use with the iPhone(TM) and iPod touch®. The intuitive Parrot AR.Drone, a quadricopter 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 and will be demonstrated live throughout the week at the 2010 Consumers Electronics Show. To see the AR.Drone in action and hear more about its development, go to www.parrot.com.

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've developed it, but I was not satisfied. A video game should contain a part of a dream that 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 quadricopter

Parrot AR.Drone is a quadricopter 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(TM) 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(TM) 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 axes accelerometer, 3 axes 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(TM) or iPod touch® that detects user's movements, the AR.Drone is very easy to pilot by leaning the iPhone(TM) forward to move forward or sidewise to corner or change direction.

On the touch pad of the iPhone(TM), command buttons also indicate some actions such as rise, down, rotate, move back, move forward. Observing the AR.Drone obey to 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 a 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, like the wind, the sunshine, 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 need to register on www.ardrone.org. A Software Development Kit (SDK), including a prototype of the AR.Drone, will be available soon for approved applicants.

Note:

  • Parrot AR.Drone is today open to video games developers. Please visit www.ardrone.org.
  • The Parrot AR.Drone is scheduled to be available to consumers sometime in 2010.
  • A dedicated website will also enable owners of AR.Drone to be part of the AR.Drone community and to share their videos.

Note to Media: Photos are available at http://www.parrot.com/parrot-ar-drone/ardrone_photos/#albums

About Parrot

Parrot, a global leader in wireless devices for mobile phones, stands on the cutting edge of innovation. The company was founded in 1994 by Henri Seydoux as part of his determination to drive the inevitable breakthrough of mobile phones into everyday life by creating high-quality, user-friendly wireless devices for easy living. Parrot has developed the most extensive range of hands-free systems on the market for cars, motorbikes and scooters, including wireless multimedia products geared towards audiovisual applications. In 2008, Parrot launched a new prestige line of high-end products bearing the hallmark of renowned artists. Parrot, headquartered in Paris, currently employs 450 people worldwide and generates 85% of its sales overseas.

www.parrot.com

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®The Bluetooth word mark and logos are owned by the Bluetooth SIG, Inc. and any use of such marks by Parrot S.A. is under license. Other trademarks and trade names are those of their respective owners.

© 2008 Apple Inc. iPod® and iTouch® are registered trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. iPhone(TM) is a trademark of Apple Inc. Made for iPod means that an electronic accessory has been designed to connect specifically to iPod and has been certified by the developer to meet Apple performance standards.

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