What’s Missing From Parrot’s New Drone: Developer Tools

What’s Missing From Parrot’s New Drone: Developer Tools

Drone maker Parrot’s new flying gizmo, the Bebop 2 Quadricopter drone, will make its landing next month, just in time for holiday shoppers. According to the company, it’s a smaller, lighter, and easier-to-use model than the previous Bebop drone—which should please consumers interested in tossing one in a bag.

For developers, the improvements could help them make a better case for whatever uses they envision—but the company hasn’t yet delivered everything they need to build new drone-based applications.

The “flying camera,” as Henri Seydoux, Parrot’s founder and CEO, puts it, may be a consumer product, but he’s keenly interested in what companies and developers will do with it. The unit, which will sell for $550 when it launches on December 14 ($800, with the updated Parrot Skycontroller Black Edition included), features better stabilization without the bulk of extra hardware and improved range for remote control.

During the presentation, Seydoux showed off a few examples of what third parties have done with the technology. But there’s no word on when a new software development kit (SDK) might arrive to let them take advantage of the new features.

He later explained to me that the company is working on the SDK, which will arrive at some point later on. Then he explained where he thinks the most interesting opportunities are for drones, and the big hole that no one seems to have filled yet.

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