The new app has been quietly launched on Xbox this past weekend. While all the pomp and circumstance has been around the unmanned drones, Xbox and Amazon have made a partnership to circumvent the unmanned part of the law. While earliest optimist speculation puts the program launching in 2015. Many experts and key industry analysts were not expecting this quick solution. This is an exciting advancement in the world of drones, while domestic models like those you can find at a DJI Store are becoming more and more popular with the public, it’s interesting to see how companies are beginning to explore how they can add new dimensions to the user experience.
Xbox enthusiasts rejoice! With the use of the Kinect, you can control the drone yourself. Sitting away from the Kinect, at the optimal setting, the experience is quite surreal. If you are looking for your “Minority Report” controls, this pretty much makes it science fact.
“The reason the FAA is opposing our launch so quickly is the drones would be unmanned. With this app, we have made the delivery to your house like a game, thus, placing a person at the helm of the drone.” Said Amazon.
Amazon and the makers of Grand Theft Auto Five, Rockstar Studios teamed up to create the software needed to make all possible.
“It was sorta one of those duh moments, ya know?”-Amazon
This shouldn’t be confused with Grand Theft Auto, there are not any guns, and there are no points. You are provided directions onscreen via Bing Maps, naturally. You are given a 180 degree view in front of the craft. With the command Xbox Mirror, the display will fade in a car’s review mirror, to give you a visual of behind the craft, for about 5 seconds and then it will fade away. Using various gestures, that you must pass a proficiency test in order to fly the craft, will control the drone. The use of the voice Kinect commands is limited to the Mirror function, confirmation of deliver, delivery received, and home base. Caution! When you give the drone the command, “confirmation of delivery”, it will power off. The only way to return power to the unit is a visual confirmation that you have returned, and your voice command of “delivery received”.
The App had launched to a limited test group. One test city, Lincoln Nebraska, is home to Matt Waite, a professor at the University of Nebraska and founder of their Drone Journalism Lab. We asked Mr. Waite his opinion of this new app. He responded with “it’s all fun and games until little Sally loses a finger.”