You can't turn a corner on the CES show floor without seeing at least one drone or a virtual reality headset. One exhibitor decided to combine the two.
The PowerUp FPV is a remote control airplane that you control with your smartphone or the included Google Cardboard VR headset. PowerUp collaborated with Parrot to design the high-tech toy. The plane, which we tried out at CES, travels at over 20 miles per hour and has a total flight time of 10 minutes.
It has a built-in wide-angle camera for live streaming and a downloadable app for both iOS and Android, so you get a first-person view of what the plane is seeing as if you were in the cockpit. On the app, there is an on-screen gamepad which you press to steer the plane. When using the headset, however, you just tilt your head in the direction that you want the plane to fly. It's tricky at first, but is still a lot of fun. And if you don't get the hang of it, there's an auto-pilot mode. If you don't want to fly the plane in first person, it has a wing-view or rear-view mode you switch to where you can even take selfies.
You're able to save your flight recordings on the onboard SD card and transfer them to your smartphone over Wi-Fi. Or if you wish, the video and images can be sent to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram easily, too.
You can use your own paper if you run out of the included template sheets. The plane has a carbon-fiber and nylon reinforced frame and handles crashes just fine. Not only that, it has sensors that turn off the engine when you are about to land. Other sensors include a gyroscope, accelerometer and barometer. Both the 550mAh battery and propellers are removable and replaceable.
PowerUp has created a software development kit, and users are able to easily create, post and share their paper airplane designs.
Uri Nir from Tailor Toys LTD said some people are using 3D printers to make wings and bodies for their planes.
The plane costs $199, which is pretty expensive for a paper plane, but there really isn't any other drone like this. We wish the battery would last a little longer, but it's understandable considering the plane's small size.
Fortunately, PowerUp sells more affordable models. It has a PowerUp 3.0 drone that retails for $49.99, but it doesn't have as many features and lacks a camera.