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Sky Drone aims to give BlackBerry 10 device and PlayBook remote aerial viewing

By Simon Sage on 19 Aug 2013 12:27 pm EDT
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An Indiegogo campaign recently kicked off for Sky Drone FPV, a project which would allow users to remotely view from an unmanned aerial vehicle via BlackBerry 10 device or PlayBook. Rather than relying on traditional image relay techniques which are subject to a lot of interference, the Sky Drone uses a 3G and LTE modem to send its image to the BlackBerry. Users will be able to record 1080p video and take still pictures, all transmitted over AES 256 encryption. On the ground, you'll be able to pilot the device from your phone or tablet and watch the action from the low-latency video feed and optional data overlay. 

Remote control of drones by smartphone has been around at least as long as the Parrot A.R.Drone, but it's great to see something similar becoming available to BlackBerry owners. The funding campaign just kicked off yesterday and goes until September 17, by which point they need to have made $80,000 to go into production. If funding goes over the minimum, they'll have stretch goals which include Oculus Rift support, so you can get an extremely real first-person view of what your drone's up to. To actually get your mitts on the camera module, you'll have to take advantage of the $349 early bird backer tier. You'll still need a drone or RC copter to attach it to, though. 

Any aerial enthusiasts out there eager to try this out? Hit up Indiegogo to pitch in to the project. 

Reader comments

Sky Drone aims to give BlackBerry 10 device and PlayBook remote aerial viewing

58 Comments

I'm gonna donate just for the sake of them using BB10! Any publicity is good publicity and this is just awesome to begin with.

And the seventh gecko gets th...ALL HAIL THE HYPNO-GECKO. ALL HAIL THE HYPNO-GECKO. ALL HAIL TH...

Posted via CB10

I'm in. I was going to get the parrot this year anyway but if BlackBerry gets one...oh yeah. :)

SILENCE!!! For I have spoken...

I built a First Person View (FPV) radio control helicopter a few years back. I can tell you having the computing power of a BB10 and PB coupled with LTE transmission would have been awesome. I fought with video transmission problems constantly. Flight was pretty easy as I am an experienced RC heli pilot but loosing video was a problem. With the computing and transmission power of my Z10 on board, this would be nice. Just open a BBM Vid chat down to my PlayBook and I'm good to go. Plus, I could send the media stream to a headset via HDMI. Building an FPV now would be comparative childs play.

Very cool project and its being built first on BlackBerry even better! I want one.

CB10- BlackBerry Z10

Yeah Simon the link doesn't show on mobile just on the desktop. You should add the indigogo link.

CB10- BlackBerry Z10

Dear BlackBerry ;
Before you make something else work on the PlayBook, just make the bridge work like it used to.
Kthksbye.

Posted via CB10

BlackBerry aren't making this themselves.

By the way, I am thinking about all the wonders this could. Do for my Security/Surveillance business.

My Tech-Fleet: Q10; Z10; PlayBook; Surface Pro; Xbox 360; HP TouchPad; iPod Touch 5

Parrot AR Drone already does this, it's been around for ages now, but no BlackBerry app! I wonder if sideload will work?

Posted via CB10

Alec Saunders is a funder of this project :P Doesn't surprise me.

I'd love to fund a bunch of projects on IndieGoGo. I just don't have enough money to do it! lol

Hmmm this is the first time in a LONG time I've heard anything mentioned on the Playbook. Could it be resurected? We can only hope with all the problems Heins and BB are facing recently.

Get this to work on the sprint network and I will be impressed! Make sure to use a durable drone when testing!!

Neat. Now I'm wondering if DoD will be using their phones for other things than just email...

Posted via CB10 on Z10

Wonder if NSA gas anything to do with this project....they could use it to control drone strikes from their BlackBerry phones.
Lol.

Sent via the awesome Zed10 BABY!

This is a really awesome project and I can't wait to actually purchase one when it is officially released :)

I hope they have some good marketing people behind the scenes to properly market this device + app though because the guys in the video come across as very geeky with their not-funny cheesy lines :)

I'm looking at deeper things. Think with higher encryption capability you could build rugged hardware to issue to soldiers in the field so that they could easily and quickly see what drones are looking at from ANYWHERE. This could be really cool.

Really cool idea, and even more awesome that they're coding it for bb10. To me, it just proves how closely related the underlying operation systems of he iPhone/Android/BB10 are...all being Unix inspired and POSIX compliant.

In any event, his is just the FPV system, right? Does it save the HD video via the cell link to your phone too? What would this thing do to your data usage since it's essentially streaming HD video over the cell network to your phone. Maybe that's okay in Europe, but I'd burn through my expensive and tiny monthly allotment of Canadian data super fast with this.

Still, I hope it gets funded simply because the existence of it is too cool.

Would be cool if blackberry would help them fund this. I'm sure things like this could help blackberry's younger demographics

Posted via CB10

And I just did my part! Got the early bird one. I was thinking too, wonder if crackberry is on this.... could be a possible giveaway.

Posted via CB10

1) the GoPro uses WiFi, which means that if your copter is too far from you and out of the WiFi coverage, then you get nothing.
The Sky Drone uses 4G/3G so it can be much farther (the limit become only the remote control for the drone)

2) with the iOS / Android app for LiveFeed, there is a 4s delay. The Sky Drone has currently a 0.2s delay (latency is 20 times lower).

I only have two hands. How will I do these two actions at the same time ?
- guide the drone
- use the fabulous app on my Z10