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Sport Drones & the Future of FPV: Allan Evans, Fat Shark

What can we look forward to in the world of first person view racing?

To answer that question, we go straight to the top. Allan Evans is CEO at Fat Shark, the world’s leading first person view company for drone racing. If you’re a first person view drone pilot, chances are you’re wearing a Fat Shark headset. In fact, the company boasts that 85% of professional pilots choose Fat Shark FPV headsets. Allan is here to talk about Fat Shark, what’s in store for the company and what users can look forward to as drone racing and drone sports progresses to the next level.

In This Episode

  • Intoduction. Allan Evans is CEO at Fat Shark a technology company that primarily builds headsets for first person view drone racing. The company was created ten years ago by Greg French, and it has continued to grow to become the world leader of the FPV head-sets.
  • From Consultant To CEO. After being CEO and founder of a previous technology company, Allan joined Fat Shark as a consultant. After a period of time, he became CEO of the company. Allan cites three reasons for taking on the role of CEO: (1) First grade ownership and caring for the customer; (2) A really great community of drone enthusiasts and racers supporting the company and each other and (3) the fun derived by leading the company. Allan has been CEO since early July 2017.
  • Opportunities. With dominating the market for drone racing fpv headsets, Fat Shark is looking for opportunities get more people interested in sport drones. Allan sees potential growth in smaller, micro drones that users can learn to fly and experience sports drones. The goal is to make it easy for people to enter the drone racing experience. While the headsets are currently designed for analog signal, Fat Shark will continue work with other providers in developing and refining the head sets to receive HD digital signals.
  • Sport Drones vs. E-Sports. Allan sees a lot of comparison between sport drones and e-sports, but in some ways, sports drones add a dimension not seen in E-Sports. In E-Sports players can be very aggressive, since if they crash into a wall it doesn’t matter. When racing a drone, pilots tend to be slightly less aggressive, because if they crash, they have to fix their drone. So drone sports have just the right amount of consequence to cause participants to really fly with interesting mix of strategic and psychological risk.
  • Interdrone 2017. Allan will be speaking at Interdrone 2017 on the topic of FPV and where Fat Shark sees the sport drones going over the next five years. Right now, it’s analog video but in the future analog will give rise to a digital hybrid game that may involve gates that allow users to play and compete with others anywhere in the world.
  • Future of Competitive Sports. Allan feels drone sports is still in its early stages. He sees opportunities for big competitive drone events that sell out stadiums. There will be a continuation of the Formula 1 structure where people follow the pilots, their personalities and the courses. It could also evolve into something like a major sports team with franchises, farm systems and collegiate play. Fat Shark will be ready to support whatever form takes hold.
  • Closing Comments. Fat Shark will continue to position itself to be part of the greater drone industry as they go forward with a focus on sport drones. And while many may focus their drone interests on aerial photography, which is really just a camera, Allan encourages people to consider FPV which is more like driving your weekend sports car.

Mentioned Links

  • Fat Shark (www.fatshark.com)

Interdrone 2017

  • New Technology and Applications for First Person View (FPV) Headsets – Headsets for commercial and consumer applications have grown in popularity over the last year as new technologies and players have entered the space. This session will cover some of the new ways in which businesses are using FPV. Best technologies for each application will be discussed, while new innovations coming down the pipeline and potential future applications (such as aerial inspection, aerial cinematography and real estate) will also be highlighted.


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