Parrot has announced that it is launching its AR.Drone with Telstra and Fonezone in Australia. It will be available from next Tuesday for $349.
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As previously reported by Smarthouse, the Parrot AR.Drone is a quadricopter which uses augmented reality and can be controlled using an iPod touch, iPhone, or an iPad.
The AR.Drone has a shaped cockpit driven by 4 propellers, which claims to offer manoeuvrability and stability during piloting. The unit has its own Wi-Fi network, allowing you to connect an iPod touch or iPhone wirelessly. All a user needs to do is to download an application from the Apple App Store called AR.FreeFlight which turns it into a piloting station.
During our hands-on with the product this afternoon, we were able to control the AR.Drone using the virtual thumbstick and via the built-in accelerometer of the iPhone. Camera view can also be changed according to your preference – front or underneath.
Flights last for 12 minutes and it takes about 90 minutes for the battery to be fully charged. However, the company said that it will be selling parts online in case parts of the AR.Drone break or users want additional batteries.
Christina Sanz from Parrot said that the company is also giving software development kits for developers so that they can produce apps designed for the AR.Drone.
“There is currently one application called AR.Pursuit that lets two AR.Drone owners play with each other, although we will probably see more applications next year,” said Sanz.
The Parrot AR.Drone will be available from 30 November 2010 for $349 RRP.