It even had a few samples to play with at the time, but there were no official specs, no word on a release date or price, and only a few details on exactly what these would offer. Fast-forward to today and the company has revealed all – and there’s plenty to get excited about.
Dubbed DJI Goggles, the device is built around a pair of Full HD displays with an 85degree field of view. The company claims the result is “like looking at a 216in home cinema screen placed about three meters away”, and also promises that the pixels are packed in so tightly that no latticing can be seen while they’re in use.
You can wirelessly connect up to four of these to the Mavic Pro through the company’s OcuSync system, although users of Inspire and Phantom models can also take advantage of them by connecting them to their controller’s USB port.
At close range the DJI Goggles display 1080p footage at 30fps when set to the HD mode. An additional Smooth Mode, used when the system is further away or affected by interference, knocks down resolution to 720p but boosts the frame rate to 60fps. Latency is also said to be as low as 110ms with the Mavic Pro, although this varies with other devices.
The model is designed with both physical controls and a touchpad for navigating the menu system. Through this, you can enable a number of features, such as a Head Tracking mode, which lets you control aircraft yaw and camera tilt movements – much like you would with the sticks of a controller – simply by moving your head. There’s also a Head Tracking Gimbal mode, which leaves yaw as it is and just moves the gimbal.
A whole suite of Intelligent Flight Modes is also on hand, such as Terrain Follow, ActiveTrack, TapFly, Cinematic Mode and Tripod Mode, and these are joined by a new Fixed Wing Mode. In place of left and right movements, this flies the aircraft forwards with just the right amount of rotational movement for realistic flight simulation.
The headband features antennas to help keep the device connected to the drone regardless of its position relative to the user, and DJI reckons that they’re comfortable to wear for hours, whether you wear glasses or not. The company also claims that you can get up to six hours of operation per charge.
DJI has also integrated speakers into the Goggles, although a port allows you to hook up a set of headphones if you wish. There’s also a micro SD card slot for downloading and replaying captured footage, as well as an HDMI port for hooking up other devices to watch movies or play video games.