DJI Phantom 4 has landed. Safely, as it can avoid obstacles and track humans.


DJI Phantom 4 - Geoawesomeness

DJI – the world’s biggest consumer drone maker has just released the new version of it’s most popular quadcopter. If you thought that Phantom 3 was the best drone ever, you won’t believe what you can do with DJI Phantom 4.

The release of the first Phantom was a revolution. Like iPod for music players and iPhone for smartphones. It was the first all-in-one, out-of-the-box remote-controlled aircraft that did not require from a user any knowledge about flying or constructing models. Basically DJI’s Phantom drones have defined what regular people can expect from a camera-equipped quadcopter in the last few years. Of course for drone experts the product of the Chinese manufacturer was just a toy…

Phantom 2 introduced a lot of small improvements like longer battery life and new flying modes. Phantom 3 had a great camera and it learnt to fly indoors. It also featured a build-in Lightbridge module for camera real-time streaming. But it is the thought edition of the popular quadcopter that is a real revolution…

For a long time, Phantoms were lacking a key feature that most of the flagship camera drones offered – smart autopilot mode. With the Phantom 4, the autonomous features are where DJI gets ahead of the competition. With the new smart tracking, you can pick any object in view on the DJI app and the device will follow it keeping it in frame, based just on the camera image (without using any ground-based GPS tracking devices).

Another smart feature is called TapFly. It eliminates the need to learn the two-stick controller. You just need to push one button to take off, set a maximum distance the drone can travel, and just tap on a location on the video stream on your iPhone or iPad.

But the most awesome new feature is the Obstacle Sensing System. As the name suggest the device will autonomously avoid objects ahead of it to correct your mistakes and prevent you from crushing. The system works using two forward-facing optical cameras and two sensors on the bottom of the drone. The image recognition software maps its surrounding in a real-time and automatically redirects the Phantom 4 around any object that would disrupt its flight.

The new DJI Pjantom 4 sets the bar high for the competition. Of course for drone experts Phantom is still a toy but the new autonomous features bring it closer to being a “real drone” than ever before.

The Phantom 4 will cost $1,399 in the US and €1,599 in Europe.

VIAThe Verge
Aleks Buczkowski
I'm a professional always thinking outside the box and a self-confessed gadget addict. As a son of a professor of cartography I was surrounded by maps all my life and as a result spatial way of thinking and seeing reality is naturally embedded in who I am.