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At its "#SeizeTheMoment" event in New York City today, drone maker DJI announced its newest device, called the DJI Spark. The company said that the new drone is its "smallest, smartest, and simplest" drone to date, and was built to capture moments on the go that bulkier drones might miss out on.

The drone lifts from the palm of the user's hands and can be controlled through hand gestures, without the need of a smartphone. Following an initial launch, Spark enters Gesture Mode which lets users move the drone in any direction by guiding it with their hand, while waving will push it back ten feet, and creating a square with your fingers will capture a photo. To call it back, users just have to wave their arms over their head, then place their palm out so it can rest.

content_DJI_Spark_Ocean.jpg

The company designed the drone to be light, weighing about 10.6 ounces, so it can be carried around easily on a daily basis, with a total flight time of 16 minutes. Interchangeable batteries and a micro-USB port allow easy recharging in the field, as well. Additionally, the company aimed to make Spark more personalized than its previous products, with color options coming in Alpine White, Sky Blue, Meadow Green, Lava Red, and Sunrise Yellow.
"Controlling a camera drone with hand movements alone is a major step towards making aerial technology an intuitive part of everyone's daily life, from work and adventure to moments with friends and family," said Paul Pan, Senior Product Manager at DJI. "Spark's revolutionary new interface lets you effortlessly extend your point of view to the air, making it easier than ever to capture and share the world from new perspectives."
When users want to get a little more control, Spark can connect to an iPhone app and be flown as far as 109 yards away from the user. An optional remote control accessory allows the drone to be flown as far as 1.24 miles away. In the app, users can enable the QuickShot Intelligent Flight feature, which follows a subject for around one minute and then automatically edits the footage down to ten seconds so it can be easily shared on social media.


Spark houses a camera with a 1/2.3" CMOS sensor that captures 12 megapixel photos and records stabilized 1080p videos at 30fps. Some technology found in previous DJI drones has also been added in Spark, including intelligent flight modes like TapFly and ActiveTrack. The company has also introduced entirely new shooting modes, including a horizontal and vertical panoramic mode, and a depth of field "ShallowFocus" mode.

To ensure flight safety, Spark has dual GPS and GLONASS sensors, a 3D sensing system to detect obstacles up to 16 feet away, and a vision positioning system with a range of up to 98 feet. With a sufficient GPS signal, Spark will return to the point that it launched if its battery begins running low or if the pilot taps the Return to Home button. Integration with the company's geofencing warning system also gives pilots a heads up when a potential flight area might be an anti-drone zone.

content_DJI_Spark_Family_Bike_Ride.jpg

DJI is opening up pre-orders for Spark today at $499, which includes the drone, a battery, a USB charger, and three pairs of propellers. The company is also selling a Spark Fly More Combo, which includes a drone, two batteries, four pairs of propellers, a remote controller, propeller guards, a charging hub, a shoulder bag, and all necessary cables, for $699. The drone is expected to begin shipping in June.

Article Link: DJI Reveals $500 Miniature-Sized Personal Drone 'DJI Spark' With Gesture Controls
 

marioguarneros

macrumors regular
Nov 2, 2011
156
71
I was just checking this out as their ad popped up on my newsfeed.

Looks really good as a family and small projects drone.
 

IJ Reilly

macrumors P6
Jul 16, 2002
17,889
1,479
Palookaville
Very interesting product. A couple things worth pointing out though. First, they recommend prop guards for hand-launching and they are apparently available only with the combo package at $200 more than the entry-level price. Second I believe geo-fencing to prevent flight in restricted areas is now mandatory on all new drones sold in the U.S., so that isn't really a feature.
 
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CarlJ

Contributor
Feb 23, 2004
5,645
9,880
San Diego, CA, USA
I watch a YouTube channel occasionally where the guy has one of DJI's larger drones, and the video footage from it is spectacular. This litttle one looks pretty cool!
 

blancoBronco

macrumors 6502a
Jul 4, 2009
733
36
South Tampa
You might be referring to something else, but that Mavic does have a few gesture controls.
ya I know its got some, but it can't follow my hand to get it into position, correct? but you are right that I meant to refer to other things, like the specific automatic flight modes, like the dronie and the helix
 

Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
35,840
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I watch a YouTube channel occasionally where the guy has one of DJI's larger drones, and the video footage from it is spectacular. This litttle one looks pretty cool!

I have been interested in drones with in the last year. As much as this one looks appealing, the battery life is a huge drawback for this model. Another member mentioned 16 minutes for usage. But for portability, this wins hands down for its size.
 

blancoBronco

macrumors 6502a
Jul 4, 2009
733
36
South Tampa
I have been interested in drones with in the last year. As much as this one looks appealing, the battery life is a huge drawback for this model. Another member mentioned 16 minutes for usage. But for portability, this wins hands down for its size.
16 minutes might not seem like a long time, but you'd be surprised. my mavic is supposed to last almost 30 minutes, and after what seems like a long flight, it usually turns out to only be 5-10. and considering this is really more designed to be a selfie drone, you probably won't be flying it for a long period at a time. plus the thing is tiny so 16 isn't bad
 
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macduke

macrumors G4
Jun 27, 2007
11,749
16,435
Central U.S.
These things are getting really close to mass-market appeal. I really appreciate the innovation that DJI puts into their products. I've been interested in getting a drone for a few years now, but don't necessarily want anything fancy. I'll probably buy the second or third generation of something like this when the flight time is closer to 30 minutes, it gets 4K like the bigger models, it folds up so it's even more compact, and is priced at $349-399.
 

Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
35,840
39,175
16 minutes might not seem like a long time, but you'd be surprised. my mavic is supposed to last almost 30 minutes, and after what seems like a long flight, it usually turns out to only be 5-10. and considering this is really more designed to be a selfie drone, you probably won't be flying it for a long period at a time. plus the thing is tiny so 16 isn't bad

How long does it take to charge when the battery is fully depleted?
 
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sos47

macrumors regular
Jul 13, 2016
209
228
i dont think that lightweight drones are really good for windy outdoor.
 

DevNull0

macrumors 68030
Jan 6, 2015
2,612
5,177
Isn't this only for larger drones to comply with USA and international regulations? So it's not really DJIs fault.

It's from an article in the UK Sun, not the US, and the article says the policy is for international customers.

And this toy is 50g too heavy to fly legally here in Canada.
 
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