Parrot offers AR situational awareness to pro ANAFI users


Parrot has struck a deal with situational awareness technology expert, Rapid Imaging, to equip its drone videos with geospatial augmented reality (AR) capabilities. It’s an intriguing partnership.

Think of it as Google Maps features being transposed on aerial video displays, allowing specific locations to be pinned or geocoded in real-time using GPS-provided coordinates. That would be incredibly useful ­– not to mention very cool. The enhancement, however, will initially be available to government and business users of Parrot’s ANAFI USA and ANAFI drones. Yet history has shown nothing that wicked is denied consumers long (especially when there’s a buck or two to be made).

Parrot AR

The new AR capabilities are provided by Rapid Imaging’s SmartCam3D® SDK, allowing qualified users to interact with live video feeds as they do elsewhere with digital maps. 

SmartCam3D overlays essential geospatial data on real-time drone video. In the case of ANAFI USA craft, that means powerful 4K HDR video, 32x zoom, and live streaming of locales whose street names and vectors, polygons, notable points of interest and other pertinent information are identified.

Parrot envisions the enhancements as particularly useful in insurance and industrial inspections, real estate, airborne law enforcement, and natural disaster response. Jerome Bouvard, Parrot’s director of strategic partnerships, notes increased situational awareness will be critical to emergency responders needing immediate, clear, and reliable data to move on:

Parrot ANAFI USA’s precise GPS coordinates and advanced flight features combined with SmartCam3D® provides first responders and military personnel with up-to-date geospatial AR overlays on live video, combining the benefits of both a 2D map display and a Full-Motion-Video display into a single operating picture. This new partnership will provide easy-to-comprehend data to better assist first responders into making quick and accurate decisions during high-stress missions.


Touted as an easily integrated service for ANAFI users, SmartCam3D features don’t just simulate Google Maps. Instead, they replace static satellite images with moving, live drone video from which users create their own smart maps.

In addition to geospatial AR capacities, SmartCam3D allows for pin dropping; user selection of entity types identified in feeds; importation of personal geospatial data to display; and simultaneous navigation of full motion video and map display.

Security concerns have also been thought through – mindful, doubtless to potential use in advanced reconnaissance. Flight data collected via SmartCam3D is accessible to third parties only if owners specifically opt in to Parrot’s footage sharing option. The company also features Secure Digital card encryption on its ANAFI USA drones, securing storage in case of loss or theft.

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