The humble paper airplane has been converted into a live streaming drone that can be controlled with a virtual reality headset. Jim Drury reports.
It's a paper plane with a difference. Unlike those thrown by unruly schoolkids in class, this one's fitted with drone technology. Israeli firm PowerUp Toys showed it off at this week's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. SOUNDBITE (English) SHAI GOETEIN, CEO, POWERUP TOYS, SAYING: "We are actually introducing first person view flight to paper airplanes. So you experience flight as if you were a pilot but on a paper airplane that you folded, which is kind of crazy.....The first experience is flight and control. We have two motors, you can go up down, right and left and we have an app to control the airplane. This is done by WiFi streaming and we have a range up to 200 meters." After folding the plane, users follow directions to install a power supply, onboard computer, propulsion system, and WiFi network. The result is a two ounce drone controlled by smartphone. It can also be launched via virtual reality (VR) headset. SOUNDBITE (English) SHAI GOETEIN, CEO, POWERUP TOYS, SAYING: "You control the airplane just by tilting your head right, left, up and down. It's very intuitive. You feel like you are in a driver's seat. It's actually easier than flying an RC airplane." A crowdfunding campaign raised almost half a million dollars. PowerUp hope the funds will propel their paper plane drones to unprecedented new heights.