DJI’s $499 Spark Drone Is The Size Of A Coke Can And Controlled By Hand Gestures

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DJI already blew us (and the GoPro Karma competition) away with the release of the Mavic Pro last year, and now the company is going even smaller with the release of the Spark. With the Spark, DJI has managed to cram in a ton of functionality into a device that is roughly the same size as a 12-ounce Coke can and weighs just 10.6 ounces.

DJI is really pushing further into the mainstream market with an easy-to-fly drone that can be controlled with hands gestures. Although using hand gestures likely isn’t optimum for all situations, the Spark does have the ability to automatically enter Gesture Mode as soon as it leaves your hand. From there, you can wave your hands around to make the drone take a selfie or motion for it come back in to land.

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Most people, however, will opt to use a smartphone (via DJI’s app) to control the device from up to 109 yards away. The included battery will deliver up to 16 minutes of battery life, so we’d suggest you purchase another one (or two) to extend your flight time. You’ll also find popular DJI features onboard like TapFly and ActiveTrack. And the Spark’s FlightAutonomy system to hover and avoid obstacles with aplomb to ensure that your pricey new gadget doesn’t wind up as a heap of busted plastic and circuits on the ground.

As for the Spark’s camera, you’ll find a 1/2.3” 12 megapixel CMOS sensor that is able to capture 1080p video. The camera itself is mounted to a 2-axis mechanical gimbal, and uses UltraSmooth technology to reduce “rolling shutter” effects when capturing footage.

“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 for 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.”

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The DJI Spark is available now for pre-order with a price tag of $499. The company is also selling the Spark Fly More Combo, which includes the Spark, two LiPo batteries, four pairs of propellers, propeller guards, a dedicated remote control, charging hub and a carrying case for $699.

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