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Free new features are going to make your DJI quadcopters smart

DJI has recently been testing new functionality on the Phantom 3 and also the Inspire 1, this has largely been kept under wraps with the odd leak that has quickly been dealt with.

With the release of 3DR’s Solo competition is now hotting up as the functionality of consumer multicopters is being pushed to new limits, DJI has listened to the demands from users to match the competition with a firmware update.

On September the 7th, wayPoint of Interestpoints and point of interest are coming to the Phantom 3 and the Inspire, point of interest is similar to the Solo’s Orbit mode which is one of the more cinematic and speculator moves designed for video production; this feature has been available to DJI’s high end A2 controller for some time. Meanwhile follow me mode will initially only be available on the Phantom 3.

The final icing on the cake is that the Phantom 3 Advanced will have the video resolution 2.7K (2704×1520) added in the firmware release.

  • Waypoints – The copter will automatically fly to a series of set waypoints in the sky at a customisable speed. The angle of the camera can be adjusted while on the flight and, once done, the precise flight can be saved so it can be repeated with the same waypoints and camera angles.
  • Point of interest – The copter will automatically fly around a specified point at a preset height and radius, keeping the camera angled so the point remains in the center of the frame.
  • Follow me – The copter will follow the user’s smartphone. This is intended for use in sports, when the drone needs to follow a target (usually a person) with little or no manual control. This mode is only available on the Phantom 3 Professional, Advanced and Standard.
  • Course lock – The copter’s controls are switched so they are relative to the user. This helps counter confusion faced by new fliers when the copter is turned in a different direction and means, for example, that a tap of the “right” command will send the copter to the right from the point of view of the controller.
  • Home lock – Orientation of the copter is locked relative to the person controlling it. This is said to aid in control over greater distances.

DJI involved users from a number of countries (including the UK) to test these new features in a beta programme, this means the upgrade to the new firmware has been tried and tested and there shouldn’t be any unexpected surprises.

Meanwhile, 3DR has announced it’s moving to more rapid software releases (possibly every 2 weeks or so) to push out new software features, so it’s an exciting time to be a quadcopter owner.

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