Drone maker DJI is already hugely popular among those who like to fly around and take video of their surroundings, and today the company announced its smallest, simplest and cheapest drone yet during the #SeizeTheMoment” event in New York City today. The drone, dubbed the DJI Spark, will retail for $499 when it ships next month. Pre-orders are available today.
DJI created the Spark to enable owners to capture moments that would normally not be possible, and as the drone fits in the palm of the hand and can be controlled via gestures without the need for a remote or smartphone, DJI hopes that its new drone will be the go-to device for those occasions where a larger drone would simply be unable to fly.
That gesture control is more than a gimmick, too. As soon as the Spark is turned on, it is ready to be waved at in order to receive commands. A wave will make the drone retreat 10 feet, while creating a square with your fingers will capture a photo. There are plenty more gestures, but suffice it to say if you don’t have your smartphone handy the Spark will continue to work just fine, so long as it can see you of course.
“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 making your choice to buy a Spark, there is the color to consider as well. DJI has made the Spark more colorful than its previous drones, with Alpine White, Sky Blue, Meadow Green, Lava Red, and Sunrise Yellow all up for grabs and ensuring you can add your own personality to your flying camera machine.
Speaking of cameras, the Spark’s shooter comes with a 1/2.3″ CMOS sensor that can take 12 megapixel photos or record stabilized 1080p videos at 30fps, depending on which suits at the time. DJI also built some new shooting modes into the drone’s software, including a depth of field “ShallowFocus” mode.
The Spark’s $499 asking price gets you the drone, a battery that enables it to fly for 16 minutes before needing a recharge, a USB charger, and three pairs of propellers. There is also the Spark Fly More Combo, which includes the same drone, two batteries, four pairs of propellers, a remote controller, some propeller guards, a charging hub to make sure those batteries always have juice, a shoulder bag to keep it all in and all the cables you could ever need for $699.
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