On the lookout for a approach to flip just about any drone you already personal into an FPV drone? One of many best and most inexpensive methods to try this is likely to be with the DroneMask 2. Made by a Norwegian firm known as Immerse Optics, the second version of its flagship product, the DroneMask 2, permits you to take your digicam drone and switch it into an immersive flying expertise.
Immerse Optics began having nothing to do with drones in any respect, however as an alternative by making masks to create an immersive movie-watching expertise out of your cellphone. After receiving buyer suggestions and inspiration — together with getting wind that drone pilots had been ‘hacking’ their product into an FPV instrument — the corporate pivoted to the drone sector. In 2021, they launched the DroneMask and have not too long ago advanced by including the DroneMask 2 into their lineup of merchandise.
And for folk like me who’ve at all times been curious concerning the world of FPV (first-person viewing) drones however weren’t able to decide to the worth tag that comes with buying an FPV drone, then the DroneMask 2 is a superb various and a less expensive possibility. The product begins at $179.
I had the possibility to make use of the DroneMask 2 when flying with my DJI Mini 3. Right here’s a evaluate of what occurred:
Buy the DroneMask 2 for $179:
What you’ll want to use the DroneMask 2
The DroneMask 2 is suitable with any kind of drone from any drone firm — so long as that drone features a controller that interfaces with a cellphone that shows the drone footage.
And right here lies what’s seemingly the largest downfall of the DroneMask 2. I might not suggest buying a controller that connects to your cellphone merely utilizing the DroneMask 2, because it usually makes extra monetary sense to contemplate different choices. For DJI customers, that features researching learn how to flip your DJI drone into an FPV drone utilizing DJI’s merchandise by buying DJI FPV goggles.
Lastly, you’ll want a smartphone — and that’s it. Every thing else you’ll want is included in your DroneMask 2 package. The DroneMask 2 comes with:
- 1 masks
- 1 linen bag
- 1 fabric (to scrub the lens or your cellphone with)
- 1 USB-C to USB-C cable
- 1 USB-C to lighting cable
- 1 micro USB to USB-C adapter
On the point of fly with the DroneMask 2
I reside my life with 15% battery life on my iPhone and have a couple of instances deliberate to go out with my drone for the day then remembered I had forgotten to cost the batteries. So, I used to be blissful to be taught that DroneMask 2 shouldn’t be digital, so no charging is required.
I headed out with my DJI Mini 3, my RC-N1 controller, and my DroneMask 2. The DroneMask 2 itself is sort of cumbersome, so I needed to change out my regular ‘drone backpack’ for a bigger one.
Establishing the masks was fairly easy. You join your cellphone to the controller as regular, nonetheless, as an alternative of mounting the cellphone on the highest of the controller, you place it contained in the DroneMask 2 (utilizing the longer twine supplied). Then simply zip it proper up.
The DroneMask 2 suits most telephones, together with, however not restricted to, all fashions of iPhone, Samsung S6-8 edge, and the Samsung Galaxy S21.
The goggles are fairly snug and spacious. I don’t put on glasses, however I attempted the goggles on whereas carrying sun shades and so they match simply effective. No have to get prescription lenses or put on contacts.
The DroneMask 2 additionally has an adjustable aspect strap and one which goes over your head. These straps are fairly thick and once more, very snug.
One other considerate characteristic was the 2 holes on the backside of the masks. These permit you to have entry to your cellphone with out bringing in any gentle. The holes are coated with a light-proof neoprene cowl. That is an improve from the DroneMask to DroneMask 2.
Flying your drone with the DroneMask 2
Much like your first few instances flying a drone, I might extremely suggest flying with the DroneMask 2 in an space with restricted to no obstacles and other people, particularly in case you have by no means flown an FPV drone. And because you’ll have the goggles in your face, carry a buddy or co-pilot to function your visible observer.
For me, flying with the DroneMask took a little bit getting used to.
When flying, you should utilize gimbal mode or FPV mode (in case your drone has these modes). I felt I used to be extra snug in FPV mode. An adjustable focus size permits you to additional good the viewing expertise.
Visuals from the cellphone by way of the masks had been extremely top quality. A particular lens on DroneMask 2 permits you to see the entire display. That’s a pointy distinction from stereotypical VR goggles the place the display on the smartphone has to separate down the center when exhibiting the drone footage – one display on every eye.
The DroneMask 2 makes use of a special optical resolution, which signifies that the display doesn’t have to be break up, supplied you have got a powerful display decision and can work with any cell app. This implies you can additionally use the DroneMask 2 for an immersive movie-watching expertise by way of apps like YouTube and Netflix.
I flew my drone with the DroneMask 2 on a really sunny day in New Orleans and nearly no gentle got here by way of the masks as I flew the drone. This was an enormous enchancment from the glare on the cellphone when utilizing an RC-N1 controller. Though, the lens did fog up within the warmth. Fortunately, I did have the linen fabric with me.
Finally, I turned extra snug flying with the DroneMask 2 and was amazed by the immersive expertise it supplied.
Who’s the DroneMask 2 for?
In case you are curious in any respect concerning the world of FPV flying, however an FPV drone or goggles should not in your funds, then think about the DroneMask 2.
Beginning at $179, it’s a less expensive various to its rivals. For instance, the DJI FPV Goggles V2 begins at $342, making the DroneMask 47% cheaper. A real FPV drone is probably going much more costly (for instance, the DJI Avata begins at $629).
There are less expensive alternate options on the earth of VR headsets. For instance, the Google Daydream View is $27. However the lenses on the DroneMask 2 supply a far superior viewing expertise. Plus most VR headsets, together with the Google ones, should not suitable with flying drones.
The DroneMask 2 is essentially the most fairly priced possibility for FPV drone flying available on the market, making it excellent for somebody who likes to fly their drone for enjoyable and is on the lookout for a brand new journey when flying with out having to purchase a wholly new drone or costly piece of apparatus.
When you solely fly drones on the go, the DroneMask 2 won’t be the most suitable choice for you as it’s fairly cumbersome (however nonetheless pretty lightweight). Or in case you are extra severe about FPV drones or racing you could wish to look into buying an FPV drone.
The DroneMask 2 permits you to have an immersive flying expertise, with out the hefty price ticket of different rivals.
Buy the DroneMask 2 for $179: