CES 2017: DJI Unveils New Products and Seagate Partnership

DJI MappingBy James DeRuvo (doddleNEWS)

Today at CES, DJI announced two new OSMO handheld stabilizer products, a limited edition Phantom 4 drone, and a new mapping app. In addition, they are have joined forces with hard drive maker Seagate for an initiative that promises to address data and storage issues for drone users.

“DJI has developed some of the world’s best aerial platforms and camera technology and now, we bring to our customers a new range of product extensions and accessories to further expand their creative possibilities. We want to empower creators with the tools they need to bring their ideas to life. We’re very excited to be here and give CES attendees a glimpse into the future of aerial and imaging technology.” – Paul Pan, DJI’s Lead Engineer, via press release

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DJI Osmo Mobile Silver

First out the gate is the DJI Osmo Mobile Silver, which turns its attention to mobile filmmaking and turns your smartphone into a “smart motion camera.” The Osmo Mobile Silver leverages new features in the DJI Go app to automatically track your subject, and create motion timelapses and live streaming broadcasts. It can also create long exposures, 9 shot panoramas, and other enhancements to make your mobile shot more smooth and professional. FiLMiC Pro has also added support for the OSMO silver for greater flexibility.

The Osmo Mobile Silver has a batter life of about 4.5 hours and is compatible with smartphones ranging from 2.3 to 3.3 inches in width, which gives larger phones like the iPhone 7 Plus just enough room to sit firmly. Price is $299.

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Zenmuse M1 Gimbal

Next comes the Zenmuse M1 gimbal, which upgrades and future proofs the original Osmo grips to work with the new smartphone options including ActiveTrack, Motion Timelapse, Panorama, Beautify, and Live Streaming. The M1 can be installed on the Osmo, Osmo+, Osmo Pro and Osmo RAW. It doesn’t support the Osmo Mobile, however, and that makes sense. Cost is $169.

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Chinese New Year Phantom 4

To celebrate Chinese New Year, DJI is releasing a limited edition Phantom 4 which sports a colorful new paint job inspired by the Chinese legend of the Phoenix, a bird reborn from the ashes of his previous life. It looks to be the same Phantom 4, with standard features including 4K video, 3 axis stabilization, Obstacle Sensing System, ActiveTrack and TapFly functionality, as well as DJI’s Lightbridge video transmission system. Basically, it’s a Phantom 4 with a fantastic paint job. So if you’re the colorful type and don’t mind paying for the paint job, this may be for you. Available only during Chinese New Year for $1199 from DJI Direct, the Apple Store, and authorized flagship stores. Ships January 23rd.

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Ground Station Pro App

DJI has also updated the Ground Station Pro app for the iPad with a new 3d Map Area, allowing pilots to plan out their automated flight paths in 3D space and create 3D maps through DJI’s 3D reconstruction utility. The tap and go feature provides for 99 waypoints per flight, with up to 15 consecutive actions, including aircraft rotation, gimbal pitch, start/stop recording, photo capture, and hover. Virtual Fence will enable pilots to create a zone of safety to prevent the Phantom from flying beyond it, and it can set altitude and speed limits, as well. The GS Pro iPad app is free and available for download at the App Store.

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CrystalSky Monitor

DJI’s CrystalSky monitor is also being showcased at CES. Designed to be ultra bright, more than four times brighter than your iPad or iPhone. CrystalSky supports playback of H.264 and H.265 video files in 4K at up to 60 fps as well as display all telemetry through the DJI GO App. It includes an HDMI port to daisy chain your first person viewing goggles and other display devices, and has dual band wifi to connect for livestreaming, photo or video sharing, data synchronization and updating. CrystalSky comes in two sizes, 7.85 inches and 5.5 inches, but no word yet on pricing or availability. Pity it doesn’t have onboard video recording, though. If it’s that bright, it could make a fantastic external monitor/recorder. Maybe in a update.

“DJI is proud to pioneer advances in drone technology, and we are excited to work with Seagate on developing innovative ways to manage the increased data flows generated by our most sophisticated products. Our unparalleled UAV expertise and Seagate’s deep data prowess mean our customers can look forward to smart, efficient and reliable ways to manage their growing drone data storage needs.” – Michael Perry, Director of Strategic Partnerships for DJI via press release

Finally, DJI is addressing the issue that 4K aerial photography has with storage and cloud sync by partnering up with hard drive and storage manufacturer Seagate to work on  a new initiative to securely store, manage and share the massive GB files that can be generated by 4K streams.  The DJI Inspire 2, for example, can generate up to 120GB of 5.2K video during a single 25 minute flight, and all that data has go to somewhere. DJI and Seagate hope to announce their first solution later this year, and I’m guessing it will be around NAB in April.

For more info, visit DJI’s site.

About James DeRuvo

James has a multi-faceted career that spans radio, film and publishing. A writer about the technology in the video industry for nearly 20 years, James is also an award winning film director, having garnered a Telly Award for his short film Searching for Inspiration. He's also worked as a producer of many talk radio programs in Los Angeles with topics ranging from entertainment to travel to technology.

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