DJI’s $449 FPV goggles can control a drone with head movement

DJI has finally dished full details of the FPV goggles that were teased at last year’s Mavic Pro event. The DJI Goggles, as they’re called, work with the Mavic Pro, Phantom 4, and Inspire series drones. They’re reminiscent of the PlayStation VR in their size and design, but that extra bulk allowed DJI to pack the this $449 headset with tech. The headsets are available for presale today and start shipping in late May, and here’s a look at what they offer:

  • Two viewing modes: one in 720p resolution at 60fps and another in 1080p at 30fps, both with a latency of 110ms
  • 1920×1080 resolution per eye
  • A touchpad for navigating menus
  • Headphone jack
  • Micro SD card slot / Micro USB / HDMI inputs, so they can be used for other purposes
  • Six hours of battery life

The most interesting thing about these goggles is that DJI is promising users can both fly the drone and control the camera gimbal using just their head movement, thanks to an embedded accelerometer and gyroscope. While some drone enthusiasts have hacked together similar solutions in the past using an Avegant Glyph or Oculus Rift, DJI’s betting on a more end-to-end solution.

Users won’t have full control over the drone’s path in the head tracking flight mode. Instead, the drone will push forward at a set speed, and whoever’s wearing the DJI Goggles will be able to turn (or yaw) it left or right. It sounds like there’s a bit more freedom when controlling the gimbal, and if that’s true it could be a smoother way of moving the camera than the sometimes twitchy joystick. There’s also a mode where you can let someone use the headset to control the gimbal while you fly the drone. That’s probably what has me most excited — even if the idea of all that conflicting movement already has my stomach doing flip.