Monday, January 09, 2012

Pentagon Spy Drones For Home Users

Flying spy drones are making the move from military/police applications to home use. At the ongoing Consumer Electronics Show in Vegas, exhibitors are teasing the sale of these items for just about anyone to use.

"Like the HD video cameras now included in the livestreamers’ cellphones, aerial surveillance drones have progressed from ultra-expensive professional gear to impulse-buy items. What was once in the Pentagon budget is now at Toys “R” Us – in a simple form, at least.
"Introduced in 2010, the one-pound styrofoam craft has four rotors and a plethora of sensors to keep it stable and navigable. In some ways, it resembles an iPhone, with accelerometers and a gyroscope to measure movement and location, for example. Parrot says that it can fly 50 feet high, up to 11 miles per hour and stay aloft for about 12 minutes on a charge.

"Built-in Wi-Fi allows control from an iPhone or Android phone. The Wi-Fi also beams back moderate-resolution (640-by-480-pixel) video to the phone.

"This updated version, due out in the second quarter of 2012 for a list price of $299, offers a better HD camera at 1280x720 resolution, as well as the ability to recognize and interact with shapes and colors for an augmented reality (AR) “gaming mode,” which layers digital drone obstacles and enemies atop the camera’s actual view of the real world.

"The new 2.0 AR.Drone also offers pilots a “traveling” mode, allowing them to set the drone to automatically move and record in specific directions for maximum stability and image quality. As in the case with the Wi-Spi drones, the recorded video can be uploaded directly to the Web."

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