Friday afternoon fun post – Reality virtually

My friend Jay Graves, the CEO of the Nashville-based Hobby-Lobby International (the Radio Control airplane direct marketer, not the retail chain with the same name that sells basket-weaving materials), is all giddy today because Gizmodo has planted a wet-kiss on a new product his company is selling: a wireless video camera unit that attaches to an R/C airplane and streams video to the R/C operator on the ground who wears some funky virtual-reality goggles. In other words, it’s like a first-person pilot simulation game, but instead of “simulation,” you are watching real-time video that allows you to experience the flight as if you are sitting in the cockpit of the model airplane you are operating. Very expensive military drones have been around for a while, but this takes the concept down market with a big-boy toy that costs around $550. (Since becoming Hobby-Lobby’s CEO, Jay has been trying to entice me into getting an R/C airplane, but I told him that all my toys are from the Apple Store or Lowes. I think I’ll take him up on his invitation to join him for a trial flight “in” one of these, however.)

Here’s some video of how the PilotView FPV 2400 works: