New DJI Spark listens to the hand

  • Drone features gesture controls for easy flying
  • Includes several new consumer friendly modes to help capture videos

New DJI Spark listens to the handDRONE-maker DJI has announced its latest consumer drone called the DJI Spark in Malaysia at a retail price of US$533 (RM2,288).

The Spark dethrones the company’s other model the Mavic Pro as the company’s smallest drone to date. It comes in five different colours: Alpine White, Sky Blue, Meadow Green, Lava Red and Sunrise Yellow.

Featuring a unique fold-up design, the Spark is small enough to easily fits in almost any bag and weighs just 300g, which is lighter than a can of soda. With a quick fold out of its motors, the Spark is ready to be launched.

In fact, the Spark is the first drone that users can fly by using hand gestures alone, making it more accessible to anyone regardless of whether they have piloted a drone before or not.

From the word “Go”, the Spark automatically enters Gesture Mode that detects hand movements so you can send the Spark up and away, take a selfie or ask it to return to you with just a wave of your hands.

If you require more refined controls, the Spark can also be operated either by an optional remote-control accessory or paired with a iOS or Android device via WiFi, with an operating range of up to 100m.

The drone comes with four new QuickShot Intelligent Flight Modes that makes creating professional looking videos a breeze. Rocket sends the Spark flying straight up with the camera pointed down, Dronie flies the drone up and away from a subject while Circle rotates around the subject. Finally, there is Helix that has the drone spiralling away from a subject as it flies upward.

This is on top of the previously introduced Intelligent Flight Modes such as TapFly, that allows users to fly to a set of coordinates on screen with a simple tap and ActiveTrack that sets the drone to track a selected subject, while avoiding obstacles in its path.

The Spark houses a camera with a 1 / 2.3-inch CMOS sensor that captures 12-Megapixel photos and shoots stabilised full HD videos with its 2-axis mechanical gimbal.

The drone adds two new shooting modes, namely, Pano, which creates horizontal or vertical panoramas while ShallowFocus allows you put part of the photo in sharp focus while the rest of the image is blurred.

DJI said the Spark offers up to 16 minutes of active flight time with a top speed of 31 miles per hour in sports mode. Like DJI’s other drones the Spark boasts a range of flight and ground sensors to help guide it, including GPS and obstacle-avoidance technology.

It charges via a micro USB port allowing it to be charged when connected to an adapter or power bank.

The Spark FlyMore Combo includes an aircraft, two batteries, four pairs of propellers, a remote controller, propeller guards, charging hub and should bag at a retail price of US$743 (RM3,188).



Not just for techies

As consumer drones become more commonplace, the face of the average drone user is changing. No longer do drones belong to an exclusive “club” of professionals and enthusiasts.

With the introduction of the DJI Spark, the company is extending its reach to the mass market.

DJI director of communications Kevin On explained that as technology advances and makes drones more accessible to the everyday user, they have become a lifestyle product that is no different from the smartphone.

“How we are documenting our everyday moments is changing and the drone is just an extension of that capability to capture a moment and tell a story,” he said.

But apart from consumers, DJI’s drones have been used in Hollywood for professional movie filming as well as by enterprise clients to help 3D map buildings, artists to film architecture and tourism boards to capture breathtaking landscapes for promotional videos.

Though DJI does not have an office in Malaysia, it is selling and providing after-sales service through its official distributor ECS ICT. The company has launched the DJI Spark in several other Southeast Asian markets including the Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia and Singapore.


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