The latest futuristic plaything to do just that is the palm-sized NanoQ mini quadcopter by Minneapoli-based high tech gaming design company QFO Labs.
The first product in the brand’s Real-Life, 3-D Gaming Series, the NanoQ is flown wirelessly with a Mimix Tilt-to-Fly controller by simply tilting your wrist. Weighing 35 grams, it can stay in the air for up to ten minutes on its rechargeable LiPo batteries and has a range of 100 feet.
Jim Fairman, President of QFO Labs, said: “By using radio frequency signals to control movement and Infrared signals for game play we have crisp flight control, accurate game response and the ability to simultaneously fly several copters in the same space.”
Whilst other products on the market that have tried two-player aerial gaming require you buy an “A” and “B” version helicopter just to fly in the same room, QFO Labs’ system allows you fly any number of copters and choose teams with the push of a button..
Each NanoQ is equipped with an IR “photon cannon” and an IR sensor pod. By pulling the trigger on the Mimix, users unleash photon “lasers” in an attempt to hit the sensor pad on their opponent’s NanoQ enough times to force it down.
Brad Pedersen, CEO of QFO Labs, said: “The idea to break the 2D gaming barrier with real-life 3D aerial laser games has been with us for nearly a decade, but the technology required to create that experience had always been too expensive.
“Now with the low cost of motion sensors due to the proliferation of smartphones, we have finally achieved our vision of a quality real-life gaming system at an affordable price.”
Priced at $149, QFO Labs plans to deliver the first 5,000 NanoQ’s by March 2013.