VR is the future of drone racing (and other things)

Photo Eric Cheng

I feel a disturbance in the force, a tipping point coming along.

Hobbyists are flying 360 camera rigs and posting the results. If you want to create this effect. You really don’t need much in the way of equipment and YouTube is allowing you to disseminate the content in VR to your chosen audience.

All you will need is a $1300 Parrot Disco for the video above or build your own like this…

Then strap on any one of the 360 VR cameras hitting the market. This chap is using a Ricoh Theta

Away you go!

All of this feels very much like the original GoPro launch. There was a rush to get them into the air and I was very surprised that the Karma drone did not feature VR.

Sure right now the images coming out of 360 cameras are kind of low-res, but we know that will change fast. Its just technology after all.

Now imagine being a passenger on one of Chris Ballards Freedom Class giant drone racers. Sat at the back much like R2D2 able to turn your head and see who is behind and back to whats ahead. A really immersive fast experience. Now let me as the passenger influence the flight and I’m involved!

So that’s the fun side, ride along drone races.

How about serious uses.

This is a no moving parts way of seeing lots of the world at once. If the resolution were higher which it will be and software able to handle distortion better, which it will. We will see a much easier way of mapping things.

If you want to watch things, there is no need for that mechanical ball turret. Better still you are not missing data from the area the camera is not pointing. A software co-pilot could be looking the other way for you.

This is coming and it is going to be exciting.

You may have reached this point and wondered what I am talking about having played the videos and just watched. If you didn’t change the view with your mouse you missed out/

Eric Cheng’s video that the header image is from.

His how to..