Oculus Rift Virtual Reality Experience Powered Up With Parrot's Bebop Drone

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By Tanya Diente | May 14, 2014 1:33 PM EST

For those who absolutely love the thought of virtual reality technology, the first thing that comes to mind is the raved Oculus Rift VR Platform. From First Person Shooters to Roller Coaster Ride simulations, the Oculus Rift delivers an immersive experience for the user.

REUTERS
Software designer Julian Kantor (L), who created "The Recital", takes a picture of Jonathan Feng using the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset to experience his program during E3 in Los Angeles, California in this June 12, 2013 file photo.

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Now Oculus Rift's virtual reality experience "takes to the skies" with the compatible technology of Parrot's Bebop drone.

According to Engadget, Parrot's new remote controlled drone known as the Bebop, is a remote-controlled quadricopter (photo). It is built with multiple sensors to help it maintain a steady flight, namely the 3-axis accelerometer, a gyroscope and GPS. This means that the Bebop can maintain a steady flight even in windy conditions and also provides the user ease in flying the drone even during windy situations. The built-in GPS keeps the Bebop in place should users take their hands off the controls, and it also allows for easy programming: at a press of a button users can direct the drone to fly back to their current location.

Scroll down for Bebop demo video

The Bebop is controlled using an iOS or Android device through Parrot's Freeflight app. This app allows users to move the drone and to program flight paths. The drone also maintains its connection through the device's Wi-Fi feature. Likewise, it is built with four MIMO Wi-Fi antennas that can run on the latest 802.11ac connections and work on either 2.4GHz or 5GHz frequencies. This can give roughly around 300 meters of flight space between the device and the quadricopter.

The Bebop drone comes with a 1080p/14-megapixel full HD fisheye lens camera with 8GB of built-in flash memory, capable of capturing a wide 180-degree view far below. The footage can be viewed real-time on an iOS or Android device. The camera can also zoom and pan out using the controls and saves pictures in .JPG format and .MP4 for videos.

The drone also features the Skycontroller accessory which functions as a physical controller for the Bebop (photo). Likewise, it serves as a dock for iOS and Android devices, but best of all it comes with a Wi-Fi signal boosting antenna that extends the flight range up to 2kms.

The Oculus Rift will connect to the Skycontroller accessory and offer a first person view using the Bebop's mounted camera. However, moving the head around with the Oculus Rift only controls the mounted camera. The flight control still needs to be manually done using the Skycontroller. The combination of the Oculus Rift and the Skycontroller will give users the sensation of flying while providing a bird's eye view of the surroundings.

Wall Street Journal estimated the retail price for the Bebop drone to be roughly in the $300-$400 range and will be released around the fourth quarter of 2014. The device will be available in two variants, one with the Skycontroller accessory, and the other the Bebop alone.

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(Photo: REUTERS / Gus Ruelas)
Software designer Julian Kantor (L), who created "The Recital", takes a picture of Jonathan Feng using the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset to experience his program during E3 in Los Angeles, California in this June 12, 2013 file photo.
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