Retail & Consumer : Parrot
PARROT, headquartered in Paris, was founded in 1994 by Henri Seydoux. It is stamping its mark on commercial and civil drones with its own technological expertise and its interests in start-ups like Airinov and EOS innovation. With this type of drone, it is targeting three markets: agriculture to enable farmers to optimize use of fertilizers or water to increase quality, yields and reduce costs; surveillance of sensitive areas like warehouses, industrial sites, hypermarkets, protected locations and accident sites; geographic information systems for the environment, mining, quarrying and city planning. It is predicted that the American market for this kind of drone would represent $80 billion over the next ten years.
Another type of PARROT drone aimed at the general public is in fact a remote-control toy. It includes the palm-sized quadcopter which is controlled by a smartphone.
Finally there is a third type which is a flying video-camera drone. You can film yourself skiing, mountain climbing or cycling and then send the videos to social networks. The Bebop drone with its full-HD video and GPS falls in this category. Thanks to algorithms developed by PARROT engineers in Paris, this smartphone-controlled drone has a 3-axes image stabilization system that ensures a fixed angle of view. The smartphone will thereby receive a stable video image regardless of the movements of the drone due to wind turbulence. (See the video below).
PARROT is also a specialist in the provision of hands-free communication and infotainment systems for car manufacturers including famous German and Japanese ones. Thanks to vocal synthesis, phone calls can be received while the driver keeps his eyes on the road. Incoming text messages can be read through the vehicle speakers while apps and music can be activated through voice recognition.
PARROT is known also as the maker of the Zik headphones which uses new technology and software for enhanced listening. Just before he died in autumn last year, Lou Reed tuned one of these headphones to make the base sound from his rock and roll music more perceptible. This is known as the Lou Reed setting. (See a video of an interview of Lou Reed by the spouse of Henri Seydoux: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4giZwTxmeP4)
The announcement that Léa Seydoux, the daughter of Henri Seydoux, is to be the future James Bond girl will no doubt give added publicity to the coming PARROT show at the world famous CES in Las Vegas in January 2015.
Sources: wsj.com, Bfm business, parrot.com
Online publishing, January 5th, 2015