DJI announces the $499 Spark, a compact hand-controlled drone


This week, drone industry leader DJI announced their latest market offering, the $499 Spark. The Spark is a stylish “lifestyle accessory” drone that has a 16 minute flight time, obstacle avoidance and the unique ability to be controlled via hand gestures alone.

By design, the Spark is meant to be taken with you and used. It weighs less than a can of soda and can be folded up small enough to fit into a backpack or purse. The Spark can be “quick launched” from your palm and without a remote or mobile device, you can use simple hand gestures to position it to take a selfie. Or, you can use one of the preset flight modes to have it follow you, circle the action or automatically create a 10-second shareable video from shot footage.

And, if the Spark gets too far from you or you’ve navigated it out of sight by accident, it can return to you safely thanks to built-in obstacle avoidance similar to the DJI Mavic and Phantom 4 drones.

Aside from hand gestures, the Spark can be operated by an optional remote controller or with the DJI app on a mobile device. In “Sport Mode” the Spark can attain speeds of up to 31 mph and allows you to view the action from a first-person view using the optional DJI Goggles.

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The Spark houses a front-facing camera set on a 2-axis gimbal that captures 12-megapixel photos and shoots stabilized 1080p videos. It is powered by a LiPo battery and has a maximum flight time of up to 16 minutes.

The Spark will be available in five different colors; Alpine White, Sky Blue, Meadow Green, Lava Red, and Sunrise Yellow.

For $499 you’ll get a DJI Spark, a battery, a USB charger and three pairs of propellers. For $699 you can get the “Spark Fly More Combo” which includes a Spark, two batteries, four pairs of propellers, a remote controller, propeller guards, a charging hub, a shoulder bag and all necessary cables.

The Spark is up for preorder today with a ship date of June 15. Go to dji.com for more info.

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