DJI's Spark Is a Hand-Gesture Controlled Drone that Flies Off Your Hand
DJI has launched a new user-friendly mini camera drone called ‘Spark.’
The DJI Spark is the first drone to maneuver exclusively via hand gestures—ever. For the more discerning consumers, there is model available that includes an official DJI remote control, not to mention that Spark can always be used through your mobile device. Once the Spark lifts off and leaves your hand, it immediately begins ‘Gesture Mode’ and enters what DJI calls ‘Palm Control,' where all you need is your hands to command the Spark. You can order it to distance itself, snap a selfie of you, or freely explore the skies in any way you choose—all with gestures.
According to Paul Pan, the Senior Product Manager at DJI, “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.” He calls the Spark’s implementation of gestures as a way to control the drone “revolutionary”, and that this innovation is “making it easier than ever to capture and share the world from new perspectives.”
Spark weighs less than a cup and a half of water (or less than 10.6 ounces or 300 grams, to be precise). It fits anywhere, is extremely lightweight, takes off from the palm of your hand, and is impressively receptive to hand gesture control, alone - what more could you want? If your response is a variety of color options - DJI has got you covered, too. Spark comes in the following five varieties: Alpine White, Lava Red, Sky Blue, Sunrise Yellow, and Meadow Green.
DJI’s new ‘QuickShot Intelligent Flight Mode’ option allows you to set a predetermined path for Spark to traverse, such as following and tracking you as you walk below while recording stabilized 1080p video footage (no 4K yet, sorry folks!). It can also take 12 megapixel photos, all of which are aided by Sparks ‘UltraSmooth’ technology, a 2-axis mechanical gimbal that decreases shakiness issues. Many consumer-favorite shooting modes by DJI are retained, here, such as the ‘Pano’ mode that takes beautiful panoramas by editing several photographs taken along a gimbal adjusted path together. The ‘ShallowFocus’ mode allows you to take photos with a shallow depth of field surrounding a crisp, clear center.
In addition to all of this, Spark can sense objects ahead of it from up to 16ft away, in order to automatically avoid any unpleasant collisions. The ‘FlightAutonomy’ system is comprised of 24 computing cores and various camera systems that work in tandem to keep Spark in control. This is what gives Spark the ability to hover with safety and precision at up to 98ft. Of course, Spark will return home automatically, whenever you please. In case the battery gets low, the connection is lost, or you press the 'Return to Home' button, Spark obediently comes zipping back to you.
The DJI Spark is available at an impressive $499 USD - this includes the drone, battery, USB charger, and three propeller pairs. For more hardened Spark users that desire a few more back-up items, the ‘Spark Fly More Combo’ is available at $699, and includes drone, two batteries, remote control, four propeller pairs, propeller guards, a charging hub, all relevant cables, and a shoulder bag. Head on over to DJI’s store here to pre-order one of the aforementioned options, and prepare for a mid-June shipping date.