Founder and former CEO of Fat Shark, Greg French, has officially stepped down and will serve as chief engineer from now on. The new boss: Allen Evans.
We recently wrote about Fat Shark and their new Base HD digital first person view (FPV) goggles shipping this fall, and what do you know? There’s an even bigger story coming from Fat Shark HQ. Founder and former CEO Greg French has officially stepped down and will be serving as chief engineer from now on. Who could possibly replace the person who built Fat Shark from the ground up? Meet Allen Evans. Founder and former CTO of Avegant, a company that specializes in high-quality projection-based display technology, Evans seems to have the right pedigree for the job. Let’s take a look at what he’s capable of, a look at his history, and dissect his blog post’s look at the future of Fat Shark, shall we?
Evans gives us some insight as to what he intends to do at Fat Shark, and what he deems should be the company’s primary focus right now. He lays his public message out by concentrating on several key components, such as drone racing being the next viable e-sport, the imperative of high-quality display tech, switching headsets from analog to digital (which seems to have been a goal before Evans got on board), and luring in new consumers by making all involved aspects user-friendly and affordable. In his post, Evans makes sure to give well-deserved respect to Snap Inc. and Google and their efforts to advance reliable, appealing and efficient drone racing goggle technology. He also reiterates that he’s most enthusiastic about protecting drone racing from the current shoddy tech standards, hoping to lead the way as Fat Shark’s new boss.
“Start with Fat Shark’s current goggles, sprinkle in a few new display technologies and add a dash of Silicon Valley and you’ll end up being as excited about drone racing’s future as I am,” Evans states. Many of us can relate to his reminiscing of early LAN parties and that rush of excitement at a smooth connection between computers, and the adrenaline you’d feel things were running smoothly without latency issues. This is most definitely on Evans’ list of decrees at the new job. He’s clearly passionate about FPV and drone racing and wants to share the glee he felt as a kid with the youth of today. If you’ve read about “drone battles“, you’ll know what he’s talking about. It’s an amazing way to get kids into science, math, and engineering, which Evans thankfully feels is important enough to support.
So what’s the first plan of action? According to Evans, it’s getting new display technology to consumers, and moving from the predictable yet primitive analog standard of headsets to their more powerful digital counterpart. These will have a 5.8GHz processing capacity, and while companies like DJI and Amimom are definitely progressing in that area, Evans wants to go even further. This new digital standard will not be exclusively relegated to the headsets, by the way – Evans intends on utilizing this tool for “the robotic controls specific to racing drones,” too. A major overhaul, it seems, will be taking place in the drone racing landscape, and Fat Shark is starting with displays and a move from the old (analog) to the new (digital).
Lastly, Evans believes that microdrones are an effective way to get kids into drones, as a gateway to more sophisticated UAVs and drone racing, itself. He’s most likely on to something here, as we’ve all seen kids’ eyes light up when they walk by a basic microdrone being piloted outside of an electronics store. They spark the imagination and seem like a good place to start. But first up, of course, is high-quality consumer display technology, which is Evans’ specialty. From our POV, it seems like Fat Shark has found itself a forward-thinking, reliable new CEO. Best of Luck, sir.