Chinese drone manufacturer DJI on Tuesday launched its inaugural first-person view (FPV) drone, which boasts a fully immersive flight experience and superior features compared to standard drones.
Named the DJI FPV, the device is sold along with a controller and a pair of head-mounted goggles to allow the first-person onboard view, as opposed to the company’s other drones that are flown via a video feed on the controller or smartphone screen.
The ready-to-fly drone automatically establishes wireless connections with the controller and the goggles, and is capable of three intuitive flight modes that accommodate for professionals and amateurs alike, according to the company.
Regardless of which flight mode the drone is engaged in, including ‘normal’ for novice pilots, ‘manual’ for full user control, and ‘sport’ as a middle ground between the former two, its emergency brake and hover features can be engaged at any time with the press of a button to ensure safety.
The camera is equipped with a super wide-angle lens that can shoot up to 4K resolution at 60 frames per second, as well as a slow-motion, 120 fps option with a resolution of 1080p. Moreover, it utilizes GoPro’s RockSteady stabilization system and features a 150-degree field of view.
“Compared with ordinary aerial drones, the DJI FPV features powerful flight performance, faster flight speed, and is not limited by flight angle restrictions, promising a smooth control experience and a flight with more flexibility,” the company said on its website.
DJI claims that the FPV drone includes high performance motors that can take it from a standstill to 100kph (62 mph) in just 2 seconds, with the top speed clocking in at 140kph (87 mph).
The device has a 20 minute flight time per battery charge, which is shorter than other standard drones but much longer than other FPV drones on the market, which tend to vary from three to ten minutes, as confirmed in a review by The Verge.
In an attempt to tackle video feed latency — a big technical challenge for FPV drones — DJI said it has solved the issue with the latest version of its Ocusync technology, called O3, in its goggles. This allows for an ultra-smooth and reliable view of the drone’s flight with a resolution of 810p, at either 60fps or 120fps.
The new model also supports an ‘audience mode’, allowing the user to connect up to eight more pairs of goggles for a shared aerial view.
The standard bundle retails for 7,999 yuan ($1,299 in the US) and includes the remote controller, FPV goggles, cables, and one battery. The company also offers a standalone motion controller for 999 yuan ($199), which allows the pilot to control the drone with hand motions.
Shenzhen-based DJI dominates the global small drone business with a 69% market share, according to consultancy DroneAnalyst.
In December, the company was added to the US Commerce Department’s entity list, which categorizes the company as a national security threat and prohibits American businesses from exporting technology to the firm.