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david.spencer
lvl.4
Flight distance : 7192 ft
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United Kingdom
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Due for release mid 2015 and had hdmi in, would be ideal for inspire
2015-1-3
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mark
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United States
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I have both the DK1 (literally one of the first 200 ever delivered) and DK2 versions of Oculus. This is indeed a "killer app" for drones, once some technical (and legal) concerns are addressed.  As it currently stands, it would be a good headset like a FatShark, but that's only the tip of the iceberg.

First, the resolution is too low on the current Oculus for excellent immersion. Particularly for aerials/landscapes because you need to be able to resolve details. Oculus will be 4K per eye before we know it, but it's just not there yet for immersion from altitude. When you play something like Elite Dangerous on the DK2, you can't help but see/feel the future of communication and entertainment.

Second, the Inspire's camera has a narrow FOV, which is nice for cinema, but for VR, we'd need a software head tracking solution.  Current gimbals just aren't fast enough (yet) to turn with the head and also restrict you to a single viewer. An ideal setup would be a replacement "VR gimbal" for the Inspire. Perhaps it's 3 cameras: forward facing, and two sides, with wide FOV at 4k. Software can stitch them together and then the head tracking will apply the movements to the Oculus. 3D would be ideal, but at a great height, the separation won't be as crucial... we can leave that for a later generation. If the InspireVR is sending a 360 camera output, then you can have multiple viewers, each looking in different directions. Of course, we're also talking about a much more advanced "Lightbridge" than can stream three stitched 4K video feeds (at up to 60fps). That's still in the future, but it'll happen.

I see this as a huge opportunity: Virtual helicopter rides. First locally (imagine being at the Grand Canyon and a licensed Inspire pilot flies over the canyon while you and your family wear an Oculus and look around freely) and then over a network (as bandwidth and latency allow). Imagine being able to fly over Times Square on New Year's virtually. It's like having a helicopter with unlimited seats.

The next step would be allowing for trained (licensed?) pilots to "rent" an Inspire VR in locations around the world. You put on an Oculus, tap into an Inspire VR in another country, and fly it for you and your friends while the local owner watches and is ready to take over in case of a network problem. (Or, eventually, without any oversight when the hardware/software is sophisticated enough to land in emergencies and avoid obstacles.)  There could be a network of owners with Inspires ready to go on a launch pad, where pre-qualified pilots can browse and "rent" one. Not unlike Zipcar. Prices can be based on market demand and time of year, like a house rental. Wanna fly over a volcano in Iceland? Let's all go for a ride. Wanna tour the Irish countryside? Put on the headsets. At first, these could be done at theme park locations (like the simulation rides at the Air & Space Museum). You could even have the chairs move based on the motion of the helicopter, since we'd have that 3D pitch/tilt/yaw data as well.

There could be a whole new category of virtual real-time tourism. No doubt, Facebook saw some of this potential when they purchased Oculus. But I think a platform like an Inspire (or its "sequels") with a dedicated VR camera mount with an Oculus will be a game changer.
2015-1-3
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phila100
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United Kingdom
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Excellent post Mark - couldn't agree more with you - the commercial opportunities (when the technology matures/develops) are tremendous! For the moment I'll have to stick with my Phantom and plucking up the courage (or stupidity!) to flying it off Beachy Head!
2015-1-3
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redleader
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United Kingdom
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mark@22digital. Posted at 2015-1-4 03:42
I have both the DK1 (literally one of the first 200 ever delivered) and DK2 versions of Oculus. This ...
The next step would be allowing for trained (licensed?) pilots to "rent" an Inspire VR in locations around the world. You put on an Oculus, tap into an Inspire VR in another country, and fly it for you and your friends while the local owner watches and is ready to take over in case of a network problem.


Wow, I hadn't even thought about that. Amazing.

Thanks for a great post.
2015-1-3
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