360 Designs has unveiled the Flying Eye, the world's first broadcast quality, live streaming virtual reality drone.
The drone, which will come with a price tag of $75,000, will be made available starting at the 2017 NAB Show on April 22.
Meet The $75,000 Flying Eye
The Flying Eye will have the power to stream live 360-degree video in 6K quality over a range of up to 6 miles, allowing to earn the title as the most advanced live-streaming drone that will be available in the market.
The drone will be powered by Breeze, the custom wireless transmission system exclusively developed by 360 Designs. The technology will allow the Flying Eye to share live VR streams to anywhere in the world through YouTube, Facebook, or virtual reality headsets, all of which would be in 6K quality.
"This allows your viewers to 'fly like a bird', live, in fully immersive virtual reality video!" stated the drone's description on its official product page.
"We wanted to create a broadcast-quality live 360 drone platform for professionals, so they can create stunning live VR productions, with or without the drone in shot," said 360 Designs CEO Alx Klive, who added that "the sky is no longer the limit" for broadcasts.
The Flying Eye comes with the Mini EYE 3 360-degree camera and can be outfitted to use other content capture devices. The drone also comes with automated live stitching, so bringing together the captured images and videos can be done immediately. In addition, only one person is needed to operate the Flying Eye due to there being no controls for the camera positioning, as the 360-degree camera will cover everything.
The drone is based on the Matrice 600 Pro platform by DJI and also features its own 360-degree camera stabilization system. The footage that it takes can also be recorded instead of broadcast live, with the Flying Eye having a flying time between battery charges of 10 minutes to 12 minutes from a charge of 20 percent.
360 Designs will be demonstrating the drone at its booth in the upcoming NAB Show, put together annually by the National Association of Broadcasters, in Las Vegas. The drone can be customized depending on the customer's requirements and is available as an outright purchase, rental, or service.
The Significance Of The Flying Eye
The development of the Flying Eye highlights the growing importance of 360 video among viewers, as such content takes on a bigger role in news, entertainment, and other forms of media.
The Flying Eye, which promises the best quality available for live streams captured by a drone and a system that is easy to integrate, will likely herald the arrival of more drones specifically focused for broadcasters.
The Flying Eye also further expands the applications of drone technology in the modern world. Drones have been tapped for uses such as cloud seeding, which is dangerous for normal manned aircraft, and emergency response operations as part of the special Land Rover Discovery SUV. NASA is also planning to utilize drones for the unmanned exploration of locations on Mars that are difficult to reach.