If you’ve ever watched drone racing, you’ll know that they move fast. Really fast. I had the pleasure of watching the Drone Racing League a couple of years ago, and quite how the pilots managed to avoid crashing them straight into a wall is beyond me.
For those that don’t know, pros don’t just watch their drones from a distance like some kind of 21st century kite. Instead, they wear a headset which streams a first-person view of the drone’s flight path, and thanks to Chinese UAV specialists DJI, things have just got a lot better.
The kit consists of new FPV (first-person view) goggles, a small HD camera and a transmitter that can be attached directly to the drone.
The new goggles boast a range of up to 2.5 miles, with an incredibly low end-to-end latency of just 28 milliseconds. High definition 720p footage promises to be streamed at a super-smooth 120fps, making this ideal for drone racers who prefer not to collide directly with walls.
But perhaps more important is the HD stream, because not only will you be able to see things before you hit them, but you’ll be able to see more things in general. While a tree is pretty damned obvious even with a SD feed, things like power lines or branches sometimes aren’t spotted until it’s too late.
The DJI kit comes in two flavours. There’s a $819 (~£678) “FPV Experience” combo, which comes with a goggles, two air units and cameras, while the $929 (~£769) “Fly More” bundle has the goggles and a single air unit and camera, plus a controller with innards optimised for low-latency transmission.
If you’re new to the wonderful world of UAVs, be sure to check out our list of the best drones for some tips on where you should start and how much you should be looking to spend.