recently made the 2017 Top 10 gadgets by Time. The renowned magazine anointed
the drone company for its effort in “making drones easier and more convenient
for the average person”. Since its release in May , Spark has quickly blanketed
the market and collected high accolades from tech critics and consumers. The
reception surely is overwhelming. But what is the secret recipe in this small
flying box that intrigued such?
The Movidius Myriad 2 chip certainly has helped a great deal by enabling smoother gesture control over the device. Before DJI advanced into the consumer-grade drone area, many companies have experimented with such innovation. While DJI, backed by its over 10 years of experience in drone making, significantly improved the technology. The Spark drone knows your gestures, and hover in the air, go up or down, or fly in certain directions with the wave of your hands.
Unlike other drones that employ electric stabilization, the Spark uses a two-axis motorized gimbal, and users may find it deliver more stable and clearer images, compared with its counterparts.
Also worth noting is its Intelligent Flight mode. To simplify the video shooting, the drone is set with “Rocket”, “Dronie”, “Circle” and “Helix” modes. For example, when you choose “Circle”, the drone will circle around and shoot a video clip automatically. A 10-second video clip is then downloaded to your phone with music, and shared among your friends.
The Spark features a 3D sensing system, dual-band GPS, and a visual positioning system. These allow the Spark to hover in place at up to 98 feet (30m), and sense obstacles as far as 16 feet (5m). It will automatically avoid trees or walls within specified distance. If the Spark senses obstacles in the route, its GPS let the Spark return home for a safe landing. All you have to do is pressing the RTH (Return to Home) button. The drone may fly back once battery gets low or connection is lost. Many drones are equipped with the same functionalities, but unfortunately at a higher price and with a bigger size.
Sleek and compact, the Spark can follow the moving object with slight wind (15mph). This is a bit better than most of portable drones. Admittedly, it works better under optimal conditions, indoors or outdoors without strong winds. If you want to better harness the power of the drone, you can go with a remote control with which you can control the drone from up to 2 km away, and operate more smoothly. You won’t get this with your smart phone.
It is a daring attempt for DJI to design a product that clearly compromises on range and image quality while many other players are doing otherwise. On the bright side, you get a more affordable toy with less complexity. Married to a holistic package of functionalities, it is not surprising that some tech reviewers acclaim the Spark as a “must-have drones for beginners”.