The Coolest Video Game? It's A Hovercraft

Sure, it drones on, but it's fun

By Scott Budman
|  Thursday, Mar 11, 2010  |  Updated 9:10 PM EDT
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The Coolest Video Game? It's A Hovercraft

The Drone, powered by an iPhone.

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The video-game industry is full of cool ways to play: with your phone, with your controller, and with a wave of your hands in the air.  Having covered the business for 15 years, you'd think I'd seen just about everything.  But then the French came to town.

This year's Game Developer's Conference in San Francisco was flat-out upstaged by a hovercraft.  The company that makes it, Parrot, calls is the AR Drone (the AR stands for Augmented Reality), but really, it hovers, and looks amazing doing it. 

Here's a look at the Drone in action:

Parrot comes from Paris, and says the Drone takes advantage of technology developed by the military.  It has four propellers for optimum control, with a camera that streams live video via Wi-Fi, to the pilot's phone.

Did I mention the pilot controls this thing with an iPhone? Somebody get me this app!

This device would be cool enough if you could just use it as the neatest, most-controlled flying toy in the world.  But the Parrot team wants you to use it for video games.  Not the military,  just video games.  By putting virtual targets onto your iPhone screen, you can maneuver your Drone to fire at them.  Play with another Drone controlled by someone else, and you've got a race, or an obstacle course.  Endless possibilities, really.

The only downside is that Parrot isn't selling the Drone yet.  Maybe later this year, they say.  No word on the price, either.  But once we can get our hands (and phones) on it, look out:  This could take gaming to a whole new, hovering, level.

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