DJI & Epson partner on drones by Peter McGuinness
Interdrone 2016, Las vegas: Epson announced a partnership with DJI to create the next generation of consumer augmented reality applications for the Epson Moverio smart glasses and DJI's suite of products and SDK for the drone marketplace.
Priced in the $600 - $700 range, Epson’s second generation BT-200 Moverio glasses have been available since 2014. The current generation BT-300 model was introduced at MWC in Barcelona earlier this year with upgrades to the display, camera and driver chipset and will be available in Q4 2016, according to the company.
While there are a number of headsets available to use with drones, these are typically VR style which completely obscures the user’s vision, delivering instead a video from a drone mounted camera. By contrast, Moverio is AR, allowing the pilot to look through the projected image to the real world beyond. Input to the display comes from a wearable computer running Android and is overlaid on the screen to create (in this case) a head-up display which satisfies the new FAA rules on line of sight control of unregulated drones.
The Moverio will be sold by DJI as an accessory to its consumer drone products and developers will be encouraged to write applications for it using DJI’s available SDK. This is exciting news for the drone community but is also good news for AR users in general. The availability of a compelling, low cost AR headset with an active developer community could prove a significant spur to development of the industry overall.