If you’ve been looking forward to taking the heavily leaked DJI FPV drone for a spin soon, we have some potentially bad news – a new DJI launch event suggests the new drone could be for industry and businesses, rather than consumer fun.
The newly announced event, which is scheduled for December 15 at 8am EST / 1pm GMT (or 5am AEST on December 16 in Australia), looks like it’s for the rumored drone – but it’s been published under the company’s DJI Enterprise sub-brand and Twitter account, rather than the consumer-focused DJI banner.
DJI Enterprise’s drones and products are geared towards business or, in its own words, “opening up new data streams for industries to act on real-time information”. This includes areas like surveying and agriculture, rather than consumer-oriented aerial photography.
Of course, there’s a chance this event could be for something entirely different, and DJI is still preparing to launch the drone we wanted – one that lets us capture dynamic, high-speed aerial footage for films, or simply a high-speed flier that simplifies the drone racing experience.
But it’s now looking highly likely that the DJI FPV drone, which on the invite appears to have two built-in cameras, will instead be a premium solution for industrial jobs, rather than the new toy that rumors had pointed towards.
FPV (or First Person View) drones, which lets the pilot see the drone’s view in real-time through a headset, do have some known industrial uses. For example, agricultural drones often have two cameras or imaging sensors, with the second one dedicated to capturing data that complements the video feed shot by the first camera.
FPV drones can also be helpful tools in search-and-rescue situations, and this is something DJI has been keen to publicize recently – its larger drones can carry thermal imaging cameras, but a faster FPV drone could certainly be a powerful additional ally in some situations.
So while our hopes of a DJI racing drone or speedy filmmaking camera appear to have been dashed (for now), there’s no doubt an industrial DJI FPV drone could certainly be a tool with benevolent uses that go beyond capturing aerial data for businesses.
The DJI Enterprise branding would also explain what would have been some odd design choices for a racing drone – the leaked images so far have revealed a small drone with chunky arms and a large body, which contrasts quite markedly from the spare, slight frames of today’s racing drones.
That said, the DJI FPV drone is still rumored to be capable of reaching speeds of 93mph, so it’ll be no slouch – that body is simply larger than expected due to its industrial payload, which appears to carry multiple sensors and tech that businesses can take advantage of.
Perhaps this drone will one day prove to be a template for a consumer-focused FPV drone, but for now we’ll just have to stick to our traditional racing drones or the FPV mode in models like the DJI Mavic Air 2.