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Have you ever wanted to feel like you have Jedi-like superpowers to magically move things around?

Us too.

Excitingly, DJI has launched a new camera drone which can lift off and recognise instructions just from hand gestures alone. We happen to think this is the best thing that’s ever happened (apart from cup-holding umbrellas).

The drone, called Spark, weighs just 10.6 ounces (300 grams) which is basically less than a can of pop, and can be controlled either by a remote control (how millennial) or by using hand gestures including holding the palm of the hand over the top of it for liftoff.

Spark has four ‘quick shot’ features available that allow the user to design a preset flight path, while the drone records video, tracks the subject, and takes selfies on demand.

Choose Your Mode

Spark is the first drone that users can control by hand gestures alone, successfully removing the barriers between you and your camera in the sky.

There are a few modes which can determine its actions of path, including “gesture mode” where you can send Spark away from you, take a selfie and call it back to you just by what you do with your hands.

There’s also “rocket mode” which sends the drone up in the air with the camera pointed downwards, or “Circle” where it rotates around the subject. For each of these modes, the drone takes a 10-second video that can be shared on social media.

“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.”

Even without Jedi powers, it’s easy

If users don’t know how to fly a drone due to a distinct lack of superpowers, there’s a more or less idiot-proof mode known TapFly, where the coordinate allows the drone to fly to a location the user taps on their mobile device screen. The drone can also automatically recognise and track an object of the user’s choosing, keeping it at the center of the frame. Using a remote controller, users can switch the drone into Sport Mode: Where the drone can fly at speeds of up to 31 miles per hour (50 kilometers per hour).

The drone costs $499 (£388)  and includes a battery, USB charger and three pairs of propellers.

But the SparkFly More Combo includes the drone, two batteries, four pairs of propellers, a remote controller, propeller guards, a charging hub, a bag and cables – for $699 (£544).

The Tech Spec

  • Camera: captures 12 megapixel photos and shoots stabilized HD 1080p videos.
  • Gimbal: 2-axis mechanical gimbal and ‘UltraSmooth’ technology reduces shake and rolling shutter effect.
  • Power: High density LiPo battery and maximum flight time of 16 minutes
  • Control: Can be operated by a remote controller, a mobile device, via hand gestures or a combination of DJI goggles and a remote controller.
  • Quick shot: Four ‘quick shot’ features allow the user to design a preset flight path, while the drone records video and tracks the subject.
  • Sport Mode: The drone can fly at speeds of up to 31 miles per hour (50 kilometers per hour) and sets the camera gimbal to a first-person view by default, so the camera moves with you as you operate it.
  • TapFly – coordinate: Allows the drone to fly to a location the user taps on their mobile device screen.
  • PanoMode: Creates horizontal and vertical panoramas.
  • ShallowFocus: Automatically adds shallow depth of field.
  • Companion app: Use filters and editing templates on videos before sharing on social media.
  • Dual-band GPS and GLONASS: Global Navigation Satellite System – a space-based satellite navigation system that provides an alternative to GPS which was originally developed in the Soviet Union in 1976.
  • NFZ geofencing: Provides users with up-to-date information on areas where flight might be regulated.

Shop for the new Spark drone here

 

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Kirsty Rigg is a newspaper journalist and features’ editor who has been contributing to tech-mag since Autumn 2016. She is a keen “techie” and amongst her many talents, she is also a digital marketing officer and specialises in social media management. Kirsty has written for the British nationals and has worked as a staff reporter on several papers in the UK, the Czech Republic and Spain, but now lives back in her hometown of Manchester where she writes exciting content for tech-mag and other publications. Her services may be available for hire on a freelance basis. So long as she is greeted with wine and flattery, her rates are actually pretty good.