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First-person drone tourism will let you see the sights from home

June 2, 2015 | Telepresence Options

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Story and images by Aviva Rutkin / New Scientist

EVERY year, hundreds of thousands of tourists visit the Valley of the Temples, a large park of Greek ruins situated on the south-west coast of Sicily. But soon you could be able to get a drone's-eye view of the sights.

Helmut Hlavacs at the University of Vienna has developed a system that allows people to control a drone as it visits faraway sites. The budding tourist sits at home, wearing a pair of virtual reality goggles. As they move their head, they direct a drone that has cameras pointed in all directions, feeding the view back to the user.

"From a flight, you could get a very good impression of the site, things you would not normally be able to see if you were walking through the ruins," says Antonio Gentile, founder of InformAmuse, an archaeology app start-up and one of the researchers who has teamed up with Hlavacs.

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