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Meet the 'cutest little drone'

By Dong Leshuo in Washington | China Daily USA | Updated: 2017-05-25 10:37

DJI, the Shenzhen-based, world-leading provider of consumer drones and aerial imaging technology, launched its new product, Spark, in New York on Wednesday.

Michael Perry, director of strategic partnerships at DJI, introduced Spark to about 200 people at a launch event Grand Central Terminal.

Spark is a mini camera drone that can lift off from the palm of your hand.

It is also the first drone that users can control with hand gestures alone, removing the barriers between the user and the camera in the sky.

Meet the 'cutest little drone'

Michael Perry, director of strategic partnerships at drone-maker DJI, introduces the new 1-pound Spark at a press event in New York City on Wednesday. Wang Ying / Xinhua

"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," said Pan.

Aside from being user-friendly, DJI's drones are also known for being small and lightweight.

Wired magazine wrote on Wednesday, "Isn't DJI's new drone just the cutest little thing? A 1-pound drone just 7 or 8 inches across is something you can toss into your backpack without a second thought.

"By far the coolest Spark feature is its gesture-controlled flight mode, allowing you to send the drone overhead to take an aerial photo of you and your buds with just simple hand movements."

DJI, called by many fans the "Apple of drones", claims to account for 70 percent of the global consumer drone market.

According to The Economist, the company is at the forefront of the civilian-drone industry.

"A Chinese firm has taken the lead in a promising market," they wrote in 2015, comparing DJI to what Boeing did with commercial airliners in the 1930s.

"DJI is today leading the charge in transforming civilian-drone manufacturing from something for hobbyists into a proper business," they wrote.

The founder of DJI, Wang Tao, Aka Frank Wang, created the world's leading drone company from his hobby, launching DJI from his dorm at Hong Kong University of Science & Technology in 2006 when he was 26.

Aside from its success in the global consumer drone market, DJI is also devoting attention to industry-level drones, according to an earlier report in China Daily.

In November 2016, DJI launched an upgraded agricultural drone, the MG-1S, which is equipped with an advanced flight control system, radar and sensors.

Last month, DJI and Qianxun Spatial Intelligence Inc, a company that uses China's homegrown BeiDou navigation satellite system for location and data analysis, announced a strategic partnership to promote the application of the navigation system in the drone industry.

(China Daily USA 05/25/2017 page2)

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