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DJI’s first-person goggles look to the future of drone flight

The new DJI Goggles put you in the cockpit of a quadcopter, giving you a first-person, VR-like experience in the real world. The goggles have a couple of screens through which you can see whatever the drone’s camera is pointing at. You can even control where the camera is pointed simply by moving your head. While we were able to take a quick test-drive of this immersive headset last summer, the company’s been rather coy about sharing specifics. Now, though, DJI has revealed a more detailed set of features for its goggles, as well as information on the new Ronin 2, an image-smoothing gimbal rig for professional filmmakers.

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The DJI Goggles display a 1920X1080 image in front of each of your eyes, which is like having two HD displays strapped to your face. The company says that wearing the goggles is like looking at a 216-inch home theater screen set about three meters away. You can wirelessly connect to a Mavic Pro or Phantom 4 drone and use head movements to control both aircraft yaw — the spin around its center axis — as well as camera tilt. Up to two goggles can connect to the Mavic Pro drone, so you can share your aerial adventures with a friend, too.

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DJI has also improved its new three-axis camera stabilizer with the new Ronin 2. The update is aimed squarely at filmmakers like Ethan Hawke, who used the original Ronin to film his biopic Blaze. The gimbals on Ronin 2 have more power, says the company, which gives them more torque to carry larger cameras. The carbon fiber monocoque frame is light and sturdy, and DJI has improved the ability to connect cameras and accessories via the Ronin 2’s integrated power and data ports.

The Ronin 2 will be available in the second quarter of this year, while the $449 DJI Goggles start shipping after May 20, 2017.

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