What are FPV Goggles?

The concept of First Person View will essentially fail if the drone arsenal doesn’t have an equipment to deliver an immersive flying experience to the pilots thereby making them feel they are onboard on that aircraft. Such a provision is made available by Drone FPV Goggles or screens. It is very important to choose an FPV viewing device that fits for your application as it is essentially your embrasure into the FPV world.

First let’s discuss how FPV goggles and video receivers work in complete harmony. The video receiver (VRX) receives a constant video transmission from the quadcopter and then converts the radio waves into electrical signals that complies with either the PAL or NTSC analogue video formats. These analogue signals are further transmitted to the Drone FPV Goggles that converts them into the images that get displayed on the pilot’s screen. Most of the available goggles have either VRX integrated or they have the capacity to accommodate one into their module bay. It is also quite customary for goggles to have an integrated video input jack thereby enabling a connection that successfully separates VRX using an analogue video cable.

So these Drone FPV goggles are classified into two primary categories/brackets. It can either be a box goggle or a low profile goggle.

The former makes use of one screen in contrast to the latter utilizing binary screens. Dual screen goggles integrates a couple of micro liquid crystal displays, i.e. LCD, that are  approximately half an inch in dimension to be able to show a duplicated FPV image on each of them. These goggles are generally more exorbitant than single screen box goggles due to the high manufacturing costs incurred due to the production of these micro LCD’s. When integrated with custom magnification optics, these miniature LCD’s can be attached much closer to the eyes of the users thereby allowing the goggles design to be comparatively low profile and compact. Single screen goggles are cheaper as compared to dual screen ones because of less manufacturing cost due to those 4” to 8” monitors. Although we know that the box goggles and monitors are such a cheap FPV viewing alternative, still low profile goggles are the ones that are widely preferred because of a reduced form factor and light weight.

You can procure these Drone FPV goggles in the following two aspect ratios: 4:3 or 16:9. 4:3 ratio is the most common alternative because most of the FPV cameras provide a 4:3 image. As the world witnesses a surge in the demand of digital HD downlinks, it has ultimately led to an increase in the popularity of 16:9 goggles as it extends a more cinematic view from the quadcopter.

image credits : oscarliang

The angle between the diagonals of the FPV screen and the eye that is observing them is termed as the Field of View(FOV) and it can range from 25 degrees to even 80 degrees in some cases. It is usually observed that an angle less that 30 degrees is difficult to fly with. The drone racers prefer a FOV that ranges between 30 and 50 degrees and for freestyle flying a FOV within the range of 40 and 50 degrees is considered optimum.

Shelf life is also dependent on how well the user maintains a particular product. Keeping these goggles in proper cases, when not being used, is considered to be a very good practice and it helps in preventing the screen fragments from turning white and thereby enhancing the shelf life of these goggles.

We have mentioned this before and would re-emphasize how the world is going gaga about FPV technology, virtual reality and immersive experience. This further catalyzes the process of constant evolution and improvisation in the existing technology to please the consumers. The most significant improvements are reflected in optics and micro LCD screens which have steadily evolved to provide better color, pixel density, contrast, and minimized image distortion.

image credits : oscarliang

These technology improvements become especially evident when one directly compares a new set of slim profile goggles to a pair from that belongs to the previous decade. With the gradual microchip size and price reductions, goggle manufacturers are  able to provide users with many integrated features for some interestingly affordable prices.

Since these goggles are something that opens doors to the immersive experience for the users, make sure you make a calculated decision while choosing one for yourself, making sure that you don’t compromise on the quality. With constant evolution in technology, you should simply sit back and enjoy the wonders that it extends in the decades to come by. Till then appreciate being part of this evolving journey.


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