Have you ever wanted to experience the fun of flying an unmanned aerial drone without the hassle and emotional trauma associated with joining the military? Sky Drone, a Hong Kong-based startup, wants to help with that (sort of). The company doesn’t offer military drones, of course, or even the flying machines themselves. But it has created an onboard camera system and an app that will allow hobbyists and drone pilots of all kinds to build cameras into their flying machines and then pilot them using a real-time, first-person view that’s streamed into their smartphones.
The startup is running an Indiegogo campaign to finance its first round of production for its product, which includes a hardware system to mount on the drone and an app that’s compatible with Android, iOS, and Blackberry devices. The system transmits video and telemetry data from the drone while its flying via an onboard 3G/4G modem, and automatically scales the video quality up or down based on signal strength and connection speed.
The Sky Drone team claims it’s a big step up from the old way of doing FPV (first-person view) when flying drones, through analog radio signals, because that method was limited by the range of the radio signal. But, of course, since Sky Drone’s system relies on a 3G or 4G signal, while it doesn’t have a range limit, would-be drone pilots will have to be careful not to fly into dead zones. Still, as long as you live in a well-covered area, it sounds like the Sky Drove FPV system will offer you the best look yet into what your neighbors are doing behind that fence…or whatever else you’re using your drone for.
Here’s the Sky Drone team’s explanation of who they are and what they’re doing. All the geeky tech details are available on their Indiegogo page if that’s something you want.