When DJI announced the Mavic Pro, they also showed a pair of advanced FPV/VR Goggles. Unfortunately, these have not yet been available – until now! In the meantime it appears they have cut the price in 1/2 (based on original projections). The goggles are available to order for just $449.
DJI has provided us access to an early shipment of preproduction – we have now received them and are in the process of a full review. If you are interested in getting in line to order, check out the DJI order page – all of the specs are there also.
Give the price and the features, these may be the first “mass market” goggles in the camera drone world. Sure, they won’t be used by most professional racers who have customer (read that speedy) setups which fit their uses – but for everyday control and an immersive flying experience, these should do the trick!
Stay tuned…..the entire reviews will follow here as it moves along.
First, here is the owners manual. It’s nice to have – for example, I didn’t get one with my (pre-production) set, so didn’t even know how to charge the batteries!
My first picture! Taken at night on the hot tub deck with some rain -but I just had to give these things a try,
The DJI Goggles were announced along with the Mavic Pro and therefore are 100% compatible with this machine. This is primarily due to the occusync technology DJI built into the Mavic Pro which helps the entire system work wirelessly. THe Goggles will work with other DJI Aircraft (Phantom 4, Inspire 1 and !!) however a small connecting cable is needed. See chart below.
Note that, in most cases, a second operator is needed as a “spotter”. It is against the FAA regs to fly a machine without having direct line of sight (LOS)….which you can’t have if your face is obstructed. Experienced pilot may be OK doing their test runs alone in the center of a large open field with no trees, light poles or large bodies of water. Otherwise, these goggles are going to result in a lot of lost quadcopters.
Head Tracking and Intelligent Flight Modes
The DJI Goggles allows for a number of the regular built-in Intelligent Flight Models (subject tracking, etc.) as well as a special set tailored to FPV. The screenshot above is reached by swiping two fingers down on the trackpad (right side) of the headgear. It will take you some repetition and practice to become familiar with all the modes and the navigation and selection. Although DJI uses the fancy name “Somatic” operation, what it refers to is whether movement of the headgear also makes the gimbal…..and/or the Mavic Pro itself….move based on your movements. For example, in the standard Somatic Setting (gimbal), you can hover with the Mavic Pro and “look around”……down, up, to the side, etc – just by moving your head, This can also be done when the drone is flying. The result is a realistic feeling of flying and controlling your view just by movements of your neck. A short video will follow showing some of the head tracking in action.
Toy or Tool?
No doubt the DJI Goggles are quite advanced and have both hardware and software features that beat the competition. However, for most prospective buyers the question will be “do I need these – and what for?”. This is the question of toy vs. tool. Of course, any self-respecting gadget lover/buyer MUST have a set…so we can easily dispense with that buyer.
My initial take is that they are more toward the toygadget end at present. This is not due to a lack of engineering, but rather that most of us already have what we need – a nice sized device (screen) and all the various options – for taking most still pictures and videos.
I can definitely imagine the average Mavic Pro user giving their friends and the public a demo flight – with the pilot on the controls and monitoring the flight and the “newbie” person experiencing the miracle of flight. Over the years there have been many requests by the older and the disabled who wish to fly. The DJI Goggles, with a two person setup, fulfills a wish that will satisfy this need.
A “simple demo” mode where ALL the settings, from the exact speed to the angle movements to the tracking and to the gimbal settings would be nice. In other words, what would look best all in all for a novice just to watch the beauty of flight. This is often very different than what a pilot/operator is going to want. As it stands, this has to be set before flight (head tracking on/off, gimbal following, etc.). The Demo mode could even add audio and possibly a sound track. In fact, custom soundtracks might be used for “tours” of certain lands, waters and canyons.
So while the initial uses may tend toward gadgetry, it’s easy to project how this – or an upgraded version – could end up being useful for training, entertainment, inspection and much more.
Ease of Setup
As explained above, the Mavic Pro is the first DJI unit designed with the DJI Goggles in mind. Setup is therefore easier (wireless) and is accomplished simply by pressing the linking button on your Mavic Pro and confirming with the menu system displayed inside the headphones. There is also a linking button on the bottom of the headphone next to the two control buttons. All systems (Mavic Pro, Remote and Goggles) must be turned on before linking is attempted. If the “link gods” are smiling upon you, pressing the button on the Goggles (first) and then on the Mavic Pro will result in successful pairing.
Setup will be confirmed once you can view all the telemetry data inside the headgear. As with any technical product, if linking does not work the first time, give it another go…I hadn’t know about the linking button on the Goggles and so was using the Menu – and it took me a few times doing things that way. Once linked, the setup should stay that way.
This standard setup is perfect for giving a neighbor or friend a “ride in the sky” with you at the controls and they being mostly along for the ride other than looking around (head movement can optionally move the camera POV). However, DJI also has included some fancier setups capable of using multiple Remotes where one becomes a master and the other a slave.
Video Introduction to Goggles
Added May 1, 2017 – Here is our first flight with the DJI Goggles:
The DJI Goggles work wirelessly with the Mavic Pro – however, they must be wired (HDMI or Micro-usb – depends on model) on other DJI products. Here is a video we made of using the DJI Goggles with the Phantom 4 Advanced +
If you want a FULL walk through of all the menus and functions in the Goggles themselves, check out this video from Mad_Angler: