One of the best experiences we’ve found inside of VR goggles for a drone is with the DJI offering, the DJI Goggles. This VR headset is one of the best drone accessories I’ve ever used. We’ve been putting our Googles to use in many different ways. We think there is enough here to garner a bang-for-the-buck award, but we’ll let you be the judge.
From flying your DJI Mavic Pro to just chillin’ on the couch at home, here is our list of some of the top reasons to buy the DJI Goggles.
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There are several aspects to the new DJI Goggles that make them a versatile unit for many uses. From the built-in touch pad, built-in speakers, dual 1080p displays and 3.5mm headphone jack, your creativity may be your only limit.
The display emulates a 216-inch panel at 3 meters in front of you, that’s pretty big. Internal sensors add head tracking and the list goes on.
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Fly the Mavic Pro
First and foremost, the DJI Goggles were tailor made to work with the Mavic Pro. This accessory adds an entirely new experience to our favorite flier, including the ability to control the flight modes and, in some ways, fly the drone. Don’t mistake the DJI Goggles fore having full flight control, but you can take off, activate one of the handy autonomous flying modes and land when you’re done.
Add the few featured in the Goggles to the power of the remote control and you can enjoy an entirely new flying mode. We’re not suggesting that the Mavic Pro with Goggles will keep up with racing drones out there, but you can certainly give the FPV goggled sport a try.
For all the details:
Fly a racing drone
There is a newer version of the DJI Goggles out there, the new DJI Goggles Racing Edition improve connectivity and add additional Ocusync tech for your racing quad. Latency is reduced to 50 ms, which is enough to get around the track safely. I won’t go on about it here, check out the Goggles RE announcement post for more details.
Connect to PC
HDMI is a powerful connection type, and fairly common. The DJI Goggles put this to use, acting as an HDMI monitor for your PC. Just connect to your computer using the supplied cable and enjoy the additional monitor to your computing experience, audio included.
In the event that the display feels too large for you, you can dial it down when connected to HDMI devices. Shrink the video to a comfortable size, or enjoy full screen for all the best entertainment. Of course, your computer is capable of no end of fun things to do, such as watching movies and playing video games.
Play video games
Once again, connecting to that HDMI port opens up a world of possibility, including the monstrously immersive experience that is playing games. Connecting to your PC is one thing, connecting directly to a console system is another. That’s right, put your PlayStation, Xbox and more experience into full screen right in front of your eyes. Immersion is the name of the game.
The hard part about playing video games in these goggles? Learning to look with your eyes instead of turning your head, the immersion engulfs you.
Share the drone flying experience with friends
The primary promotion of the DJI Goggles is as a live experience of flying a drone. In between laws and logistics, this is best reserved for your friends. You head out to fly the drone, your family or friends can sit back and enjoy the view. Range allows them to not even have to be beside you – they just must be within a mile or so for the best experience.
Using the Goggles as a FPV display is one thing, remember how I said there was head tracking? Lock that to the camera gimbal and as the wearer of the Goggles turns their head, the camera on your drone turns. When that gets stale, take it to the next level and allow the drone itself to turn with a turn of the head.
The pilot retains control of the craft, obviously, but the Goggles can control the camera and even spin the drone. Sharing the flight experience has never been more interactive without a second controller.
Things to know before you fly
- You must register your drone with the FAA before you fly
- You must affix your drone registration number to your craft
- Coming soon: The FAA will require you to pass a test before you fly your drone
- You must acquire your Part 107 certificate if you are to receive any compensation for your flight
- You must follow all of the FAA’s airspace rules if you are flying outdoors
- Hobby flights have different requirements from commercial flights
- In the eye’s of the FAA, drones are aircraft. Period.
- You need to acquire authorization to fly in controlled airspace
Back to indoor use, you can watch movies from your connected PC, but you can also connect to your other HDMI equipped media players. That includes a few mobile devices as well. Watching a movie can be done in more places than just at your computer or in front of your TV, take it on the go, immerse into a movie on the plane or for your children on a long road trip.
Remember, you’ve got six hours of battery life, that’s a few movies. Try one of these drone movies while you’re at it.
Fly other drones
The Mavic Pro is not the only drone to enjoy DJI Goggles integration. To a lesser extent, you’ll be able to control and fly, or at least use the headset for FPV streaming video, with the Phantom 4 line, the Inspire 2, the Spark and the new Mavic Air. These DJI drones connect via USB cable and offer a lesser set of flight controls.
Once again, HDMI input means you can use as a passive display for near any drone, but only DJI products can enjoy actual flight controls for now.
One of Googles best selling hardware devices of all time is a media streaming stick called the Chromecast. The first generation is a slim stick that requires a simple gender changing adapter to connect to the Goggles, supply power and stream away. Duplicate your Android device display, stream movies or TV shows from many different apps and enjoy.
If you are wondering why this might be better than connecting to your PC via HDMI cable, I have two things to say. First, a USB cable to power the Chromecast is slimmer and lighter than a typical HDMI cable, second, Chromecast can optionally be powered by a portable charger – a little DIY attachment and you are wirelessly streaming your favorite shows.
External display for your DSLR camera
This one may sound like an odd use, and there is no controls for your camera within the Goggles, but you see producers and movie directors all the time squinting at small screens on-shoot. Strap on the DJI Goggles, enjoy an enclosed viewing experience duplicating what is on the display of your camera and enjoy.
Also, did this just become a great spy tool? Nobody would suspect that tech enthusiast in the corner playing with a VR headset is actually on crowd surveillance. Maybe I’ve been watching too many movies on this headset, getting some crazy ideas.
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Connect to your Android device
We can’t deny that this is the same concept as connecting to your PC. If you are one of the few these days that have an Android device with video output, put that HDMI port to use once again. Duplicating your phone or tablet display on the Goggles is a fun way to experience the content, particularly video and games.
Sadly, we have yet to figure out how to use the head tracking of the Goggles to control things like Cardboard or 360 degree YouTube videos. However, if you sit in a swiveling chair and hold your mobile device in front of you, you still get the effect when you spin around.
Connect to your friends’ drone
With all these fun things to do with the DJI Goggles if you do not own a drone, keep in mind that you can still team up with a friend that does have a drone. In particular, OcuSync on the DJI Mavic Pro allows up to two Goggles to connect to the drone simultaneously.
Watch flight footage from Mavic Pro
The Mavic Pro with OcuSync has one more trick up its sleeve, downloading flight footage. You may already know that the best captured flight footage is into the microSD card in the Mavic Pro itself. The DJI Goggles also have a microSD card slot. A few quick taps on the trackpad and you can wirelessly download flight footage from your drone to your headset.
The value in this is that this is the only video files that the Goggles can play natively. Sit back and enjoy that flight footage in the headset any time now, no need to use a PC to transfer the files over.
Skip the Googles, but DJI FPV instead
If you are more into the racing scene, looking for lower latency and a modular camera that you can swap from drone to car to bike and more, the DJI FPV system may be more for you. The total package includes goggles, camera, transmitter and receiver plus a control unit for your racing drone and more, but you can get a more basic package that is basically just the goggles, camera and the bits that make them talk to each other.
We cannot ignore one important fact, the DJI Goggles are not an essential device to enjoy flying a drone, nor are they essential to enjoying a movie at home. Not essential, but now that we’ve used them, we certainly do not want to give them up!
We think the DJI Goggles are a solid competitor to some of the better FPV headsets on the market. We also think they compete well with some of the best VR goggles. Truth is, we know of no other headset with as large and crisp of a display, built-in speakers, head tracking capabilities, wireless connectivity to DJI drones and an HDMI port to connect to nearly any other media source.
The DJI Goggles are $349, so you’ll need to consider the value for your needs, but we do not regret our purchase. Regular price was $449.
What do you say, are there any goggles out there that compete on this many levels? More important, are you going to grab a pair of DJI Goggles for yourself?