A passerby in New York's Washington Square Park inspects the Phantom 2 drone

A passerby in New York’s Washington Square Park inspects the Phantom 2 drone

On a recent windy autumn day in New York City, I tagged along with Colin Guinn, the chief innovation officer at DJI, to Washington Square Park in lower Manhattan. DJI, explained Mr Guinn, is a firm that develops and engineers small unmanned aerial vehicles that are meant to carry cameras. Drones, basically, that carry cameras instead of guns. Stopping just in front of the park’s iconic arch, he placed a black suitcase on a bench and pulled out what appeared to be a very elaborate toy helicopter. White and about the size of a large textbook, I was informed this was actually the Phantom 2 Vision – DJI’s latest drone. It has four detachable propellers to help keep the camera, which hangs from its middle, stable when it’s up in the air. After giving me some basic instructions on how to use the remote control – two joysticks with a smartphone acting as a real-time viewer – off I went.

Suddenly, it was like seeing through the eyes of a bird. The app on the smartphone beamed back breathtaking images using the wireless router attached to the Phantom’s belly. Jaded New Yorkers stopped and formed a small crowd as the Phantom buzzed overhead, crowding around to look at the screen. When one man asked where he could get one, he reacted with surprise when Mr Guinn answered: “Just go up the street to B&H”, referring to the US high street electronics superstore. The man’s surprise turned to shock when he heard how much they cost: “$1,199 each.”

On a recent windy autumn day in New York City, I tagged along with Colin Guinn, the chief innovation officer at DJI, to Washington Square Park in lower Manhattan. DJI, explained Mr Guinn, is a firm that develops and engineers small unmanned aerial vehicles that are meant to carry cameras. Drones, basically, that carry cameras instead of guns. Stopping just in front of the park’s iconic arch, he placed a black suitcase on a bench and pulled out what appeared to be a very elaborate toy helicopter. White and about the size of a large textbook, I was informed this was actually the Phantom 2 Vision – DJI’s latest drone. It has four detachable propellers to help keep the camera, which hangs from its middle, stable when it’s up in the air. After giving me some basic instructions on how to use the remote control – two joysticks with a smartphone acting as a real-time viewer – off I went.

 

Source:  BBC

Categories: Technology

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