Attention all photographers, stalkers, remote controlled fans, and everyone else! DJI has just announced their newest product, the DJI Phantom 4, and yes, it is a “Phantom” well sort of.
DJI Phantom 4: No more phantom pain
While previous DJI Phantom drones revisions thought they were real “phantoms” that could go through walls, the new and improved Phantoms, the DJI Phantom 4 have two new cameras, located in front of the aircraft that can detect obstacles in front of the aircraft. This brings the phantom 4 closer to a real Unmanned Aerial Vehicles like in movies like Terminator. However, whether or not this will prevent a high speed collision with other aircraft eg. other drones is yet to be seen. Secondly, the Phantom 4 can literally follow just about anyone around, and stalk them until they get irritated and get out their rocket launcher to blow it to smithereens. This opens up the market for it to be used by private investigators, perverted stalkers, and new aerial photographers.
Paradigm Shift in Market
Combine these two new features and you will realized a paradigm shift. Anyone new to the drone hobby can lay down $1399 for the Phantom 4 and fly with confidence without crashing. This is unfortunate for professional quad-copter flyers. They may have seen their flying skills as a “competitive competency”, and giving them a competitive edge against others who have no remote control drone flying experience at all. Well that is too bad and too sad, because this new drone can potentially turn any professional photographer who has never flown a drone before, and allow them to concentrate more on the photography rather than on flying the drone. Suddenly, the demand for labor with the skills, and flying experience to do aerial aircraft flying could plummeted like the drop in oil prices in 2015 depending on how sophisticated this new DJI phantom 4 technology claims it is. What it comes down to is that real estate businesses can now consider hiring unskilled aerial pilots for flying the Phantom 4 for taking aerial shots of houses, and potentially saving them thousands of dollars in labor expense.
FAA Regulations Considerations
Also, perhaps the FAA may consider the DJI Phantom 4 as a ‘new pilot friendly drone’. Considering this drone has sensors to detect obstructions, they might question their current safety regulations on unmanned aircraft more closely. Safety has to do with the idea that, it is not how heavy the drone is that makes it a potential threat. It is how many safety feature the drone has to be consider safer to fly for beginners. Of course, there is still a a degree of risk as in every piece of machinery out there, but by having systems in check to ensure these drones do not hurt someone might be looked into. It is safe to say that there are more automobile crashes than there were quadcopter crashing into pedestrians. As long as it’s not stalking the hell out of people on nude beaches, looking into peoples windows like a peeping tom, or purposely flying into the white house, drones will be safe for a while. DJI should draw a happy face on this Quad-copter to make it less aggressive, and perhaps rename it to something less menacing like “Casper the friendly ghost!” and hope that it will fly under the FAA radar. Of course, you just cant fight politics and countless media homing down on this hobby as it intrudes on their air space.
Intense rivalry among competitors
Other drones vendors will need to reconsider their current quad-copter product placement. For example, a low cost drone vendor such as Cheerson, famous for their CX-20, and CX-22 product line, which provides a lower cost aerial photography platform will need to consider cutting prices further of their current drone line to be come more attractive. They could also come out with a lower cost products that can compete with the DJI Phantom 4 in terms of features.
Overall, DJI’s new product Phantom 4 sounds really futuristic; however, considering it is 2016, and the technology has been there for a while, it was just about time they added it. The technical challenge was just how to engineer the software to interact with the hardware and be efficient enough to maintain long flight times. On the other hand, This will not replace racer quadcopters and those that want to fly in First Person View, but it will provide an easy entry into the aerial photography hobby. With the players in place, what cards are in DJI’s rivalries, and how will they play?
Do you want to learn to fly a drone so you can buy lower price drones? Next Read up on our review of the GPToys Black Aviax F2 – a drone that will let you learn to fly, and soon be a pro!