Ditch the Remote: LG’s Drone is Controlled with Glasses

Your DJI is up in the air, sending your iPad amazing shots, but what exactly are YOU doing? You’re likely staring down at your iPad, not taking in the whole picture. You probably have a friend watching your drone to make sure you don’t hit anything. What if you could just capture the photo by looking at it and framing it with your hands?

The folks at LG believe this is the future: deep-6 the remote and don the “eyewear-type terminal”. The eyewear will have three features: live virtual display of what the drone sees (akin to Google Glass), a sensor to watch the wearer’s hands and eyes, and a touchpad interface the user can tap (also similar to Glass). Although the Korean patent application has no mention of “Google”, the eyewear’s design similarities to Google Glass are pretty close.

The patent application gives us a sneak peek at LG’s photo-snapping drone, a flying “Rolling Bot”. You turn it on, put on the eyewear, and stare at the drone. Tap the temple button, and up it goes. You can control where the drone goes and what the drone sees with gestures. The drone will send you a live feed of what it sees: “[w]hen the user wears the head mounted display 100, the display unit 151 may be disposed to correspond to at least one of the left eye and the right eye to directly provide an image to the user’s eyes.”

You can pinch-zoom the photo until you’ve framed it as you like it, then gesture a ‘frame’ around the image, and the drone will snap a photo. You can scroll through the captured images by blinking: “when the user blinks any one of the left eye and the right eye, the control unit 180 may switch the image 400a of the visual information into the image 400b of the preview image, or may switch the image 400b of the preview image into the image 400a of the visual information.”

This seems to be a novel method to control any drone where your task is to gather visual information. No word if Google will get royalties for their Glass contribution.

Claim 1 is very well-tailored to the task:

An eyewear-type terminal comprising:
• a communication unit configured to communicate with a drone;
•  a display configured to output visual information received from the drone;
•  an optical unit comprising at least one lens and configured to form an image of the visual information in an external virtual region such that the image is visible only to a user wearing the terminal;
•  a sensor configured to sense a user gesture applied with respect to the image;
•  and a controller configured to control the drone based on the sensed user gesture.



US Patent Application No: 20160349849

Filed (Korea): May 26, 2015

Published: December 1, 2016

Applicant: LG Electronics