Airhogs has been making fun drones for sometime now and it looks like they’ve gotten into something completely different this time with the ConnectAugmented Reality Mission Drone. When I first heard of this is definitely not what I was expecting and it was pretty cool going through it! Here’s a breakdown on our thoughts on the whole thing.
I opened up the drone kit and found a foam/plastic drone, along with the tracking mat (which is the physical space in which the augmented reality will take place). The drone itself is very lightweight since it’s technically made of foam parts an didn’t feel too sturdy but was when testing. I followed the instructions in the guide and let the drone charge by connecting it to my computer. As the drone was charging, I downloaded the Mission Drone app from
the app store onto my iPad. (Note: the app is very user friendly and feeds you information
in a step-by- step process that is easy to understand.) I was impressed with the visuals of the app. The graphics in the Mission Drone app are done well. Once the drone was fully charged, I placed the drone in the center of the tracking pad and opened the app on my iPad. I had to connect the app to the drone via bluetooth.
Surprisingly, you don’t need anything else other than the tracking pad, the drone and your mobile device to get going.
You have to align your mobile device with the physical tracking pad on the floor to ensure the app and the drone stay connected. This is important or else you can interrupt what is taking place in reality on
your screen). The training teaches you how to fly the drone within the parameters of the
tracking pad. I did the training sessions to really get a feel for piloting this
drone. One thing is you don’t have any controller for the drone, simply use the app to get it going. Use your
finger to tap and drag the drone on screen within the app to fly and hover the drone. It gets a bit tricky once you start encountering obstacles or buildings –so I suggest really practicing to grasp the concept.
Once you get a handle of it really is easy to fly and control the drone. The drone is also sharply responsive, so if you need to land the drone, it will land as soon as you press the button on the screen. Another positive feature of the game is that the tracking pad is small and you don’t need a big space to play the game and/or pilot the
physical drone. As you fly the drone within the app, the landscape of the city changes as
you fly, so it’s as if you are really flying through an actual city!
A big concern we have was its battery life. I find the battery life of the drone to be poor. I flew the drone for about 5-6 minutes before having to charge it again. The upside is that you can charge the drone effortlessly
with the USB cord while still playing around with elements in the game in the meantime.
Airhogs Connect Augmented Reality Mission Drone is something I’ve never seen before and for a first try at it I’d say they did a good job. The missions of saving the city from alien encounters are very straight-forward, you get to enjoy intricacy of the augmented reality experience which is the point. However for the $150 price tag we just wished that it gave you more options to fly the drone untethered to the iPad and track mat. None the less it is a new way t play with a drone that everyone can enjoy! You can pick one up now at Amazon via the link.