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Parrot unveils the AR.Drone, an iPhone-controlled microcopter, at CES


Probably the coolest iPhone-related product to come out of the festivities at CES so far this week is the AR.Drone, created by a company called Parrot. It's a little working microcopter that's remote-controlled by an iPhone app, and it's decked out with all sorts of interesting gadgetry, including an accelerometer, gyroscope, and two cameras. A key feature is Wi-Fi integration, so the AR.Drone can actually be controlled by any Wi-Fi device, not just an iPhone.

Release is rumored to happen as early as March of this year, although the product itself is still somewhat surrounded in mystery -- we don't know a price, and even some of the features sound a little fantastical. Apparently the drone has an "autofly" setting, in which it'll follow certain visual stimuli in the environment, and it apparently also watches the floor for flight stabilization. The features go even further than that, with the cameras on the real-life drone providing an augmented reality game feed (like shooting robots around your house as you explore with the drone) back to the iPhone.

Like I said, the features are fantastical. Parrot hasn't actually been able to show off controlling the copter with the iPhone in anything but the video above -- apparently there's too much Wi-Fi permeating the air around CES. But this is the most-hyped item coming out of the first few days of CES for sure. It'll be interesting to see how the actual product looks and works as we get closer to the expected release. Boy, a price would be nice to hear, though it'll probably be high!

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