Parrot has announced on Friday in a press launch in Paris the availability of its Bebop drone before the end of the month.
The product that was already announced a few months ago (read here) is completely dedicated to the camera system unlike its previous drone where the camera was a feature, not THE product.
The new 14 MP camera takes spheric images that are processed on the fly by the embedded GPU to offer smooth video shots whatever the movement of the drone (even when it flips) and to change the video angle (up, down, left, right) from the smartphone or tablet app that controls the drone.
Compared to the previous version of its drone, this one embeds a GPS/GLONASS receiver, which was previously only offered as an option. It is very helpful for outdoor flying, enabling a “back home“ function where the drone comes back to the location of the smartphone that controls it.
Bebop drone also has a reduced size compared to previous versions which makes it more portable. However, the battery life remains rather short: 10-11 minutes. Hopefully the company supplies a second battery pack in the box.
The range of the drone has been also improved using the latest wifi technology: WiFi ac. To further extend the range of this product Parrot created a controller (Skycontoller – see image) where the user plugs its tablet and which transmits its Wifi signal up to two kilometers (in the 5 Ghz band allowed in the United States, not in Europe). Without the skycontroller the range of the drone will highly depends on each smartphone/tablet that operate the drone depending on its Wi-Fi technology and its antenna.
The price of the Bebop drone is â‚¬499 and the drone plus the skycontroller costs â‚¬899. We can expect to have $499 and $899 recommended prices in the United States.
With this new product Parrot definitely positions itself in the mid- to high-end of the market. Its previous consumer product, AR Drone, was offered for around â‚¬350.
Watch below a short video of the Paris event: