News: Epson's AR Drone Simulator Lets You Get Your Virtual Wings Before Crashing the Real Thing

Epson's AR Drone Simulator Lets You Get Your Virtual Wings Before Crashing the Real Thing

With smartglasses designed for navigating drones and an AR drone racing game to its credit, Epson has just added another credit to its pioneering efforts in the AR-meets-drones space with the launch of a drone simulator app.

Developed by Y Media Labs with input from DJI and Epson Moverio teams, the app offers a flying mode for training and two mini-games to test the skills of seasoned pilots.

The app will be available for free later within the next four-to-six weeks through the Moverio Apps Market, but in the meantime, pilots can try the app at DJI stores and some drone retailers. Those interested in early access through Epson's beta testing program are encouraged to contact the company.

"This is arguably the first mainstream consumer application for augmented reality smartglasses," said Eric Mizufuka, the manager of new ventures at Epson America. "[This] is a game-changer in the drone market and will usher in an exciting range of applications. We've been very impressed with DJI's updated Mobile SDK and look forward to continuing to invest in new applications and partnerships in this space."

Attendees at Interdrone 2017 got a preview of the simulator based on an early build of the app, according to a spokesperson. Since then, Y Media has been updating the app to double the frame rate and add an AR arrow to indicate the virtual drone's position.

In the coming months, the teams at Y Media, DJI, and Epson have additional software offerings in the development pipeline for Moverio smartglasses, including an AR app that improves the drone navigation interface that is expected to launch by the end of the year.

Designed to work with DJI drones, the Moverio BT-300FPV sports a transparent display that enables hobbyists and commercial pilots to see the drone's video feed and vital statistics while keeping the aircraft in sight. The smartglasses are currently available online for $699 ($100 off the retail price).

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Cover image via Epson/YouTube

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