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ELF VRdrone is a Smartphone-Controlled Nanocopter That Uses Google Cardboard

Virtual reality (VR) is being used to bring people to imaginative virtual worlds, but some companies are also utilising the tech to offer brand new perspectives on this one. ElecFreaks Tech is one such company and is currently running an IndieGoGo crowd-funding campaign for ELF, a VR Drone that shoots HD aerial photography and is compatible with the Google Cardboard smartphone-based head-mounted display (HMD) and is controlled using an iOS or Android operating system (OS) handset.

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ELF captures images in 720p. A smartphone app connects to the kit via Bluetooth 4.0 and allows users to steer the drone using a touch-based interface. That smartphone can also be inserted into a Google Cardboard to view images taken by the drone in VR. The hardware is also completely open source, allowing users to make their own tweaks and improvements to the hardware.

With five days left, ELF’s IndieGoGo campaign has already been widely successful, raising $87,612 USD at the time of writing, well over its initial goal of $20,000. Many of the rewards tiers to secure an ELF kit are already sold out, however they can currently be picked up for $65 as a developer kit. Backer tiers continue up to $2,950, where a limited amount of people can sure 50 kits. Delivery of these units is expected to take place in July 2015.

With the initial goal raised, ELF is also looking towards a range of stretch goals to bring additional features to the device. Access to development files has already been permitted with a $50,000 goal and the campaign is now approaching a $100,000 target for an extra stand-by battery for backers. A $200,000 goal would also secure an open mould for new housing, ultrasonic obstacle avoidance and height maintenance and support for more VR devices.

VRFocus will continue to follow any and all uses of VR, reporting back with the latest updates on them.