Drones

DJI launches new Mavic Air drone

It’s the size of a smartphone!

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DJI is at it again with its consumer quadcopters.

The Chinese company has launched the new Mavic Air and it fits right between the Mavic Pro and the smaller Spark. Think of the Spark’s size but with the folding arms of its predecessor.

DJI says the Mavic Air is lighter by 41 percent compared to its previous model but receives the entire gesture system of the Spark — something that attracts consumers. This means you can make it snap a photo, make it move to a different spot, and call it back to land by simple hand actions.

Using your hand to manipulate the drone has a range limit of almost 6 meters (19 feet). Connect a smartphone and it bumps up the range to 80 meters, but using a dedicated remote will increase that to 4km.

Just like the Mavic Pro, the Mavic Air has a 4K video resolution, 12-megapixel image sensor, and three-axis gimbal. It also has HDR, and low-light shooting to help you achieve better photos in general. DJI also threw in a new software algorithm that lets users stitch together 32-megapixel shots for panoramas and photo spheres.

DJI added 8GB of internal storage to the Mavic Air. There’s also a USB-C port which is a bump up from the Pro’s micro-USB, although battery life saw a downgrade as the new Air has a maximum flight time of 21 minutes. In real-life usage, that means around 16 minutes.

Don’t let it dishearten you, since position tracking, obstacle avoidance, and the ventilation system have all been improved according to DJI.

Finally, and unlike the Pro, it comes in different colors. The new Mavic Air will be available in white, black, or red. Pricing will start at US$ 799 which is a little more expensive than the Spark but more affordable than the Mavic Pro. Pre-orders start immediately and shipping will commence next week.

Drones

Moments: Baler

Paradise captured by the DJI Mavic Air

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Many consider Baler to be paradise. A haven for those jaded by city life, the place offers a quiet escape for people who want to dip their toes in sand and sea or a chance to conquer the waters by learning to ride the wave. What better way to capture it than through the bird’s eye view of the DJI Mavic Air.

The DJI Mavic Air was officially launched a few months back but has only made its way to the Philippines recently. Compact but not lacking in features, it’s the perfect companion for travelers who want to capture the beauty of the archipelago. In a DJI Mavic Air bootcamp, members of the media learned that flying this drone is relatively easy but it does require some practice — just like learning how to ride waves in the beaches of Baler. You’ll need patience and perseverance but there’s nothing stopping you once you figure it out.

SEE MORE: Moments: 2018 World Cup in Russia

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Drones

Drones fly luxury Dolce & Gabbana handbags on the runway

Who needs models when you have drones?

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Dolce & Gabbana stepped up their game this year during their fashion show in Milan. The Italian luxury fashion house flew drones carrying handbags on the runway, stunning the crowd.

See the spectacle for yourself:

The show ran nearly an hour late for the big surprise. According to Fashionista who attended the event, “Signs and announcements in several different languages pleaded multiple times for audience members to turn off their personal Wi-Fi and hot spots.”

Of course, it isn’t easy to ask a 600-strong audience to turn their internet connections off before a spectacle, resulting in these quadcopters flying a bit craggy. It’s possible that those reluctant to follow the organizer’s requests caused an interference with the drone flights. Who wouldn’t want to capture a surprising performance and share it on social media? We live in the social media age, guys!

But the fashion house was prepared for any unfortunate accident if the drones were to malfunction and crash on someone’s head. People dressed in white walked alongside the drones, ready to intercept or offer help if an incident occurred.

Fortunately, the show went on without a hitch. As the drones buzzed off, actual human models were back on the runway wearing D&G clothes for the Fall Winter 2018/19 collection. Maybe it isn’t time yet for technology to enter the world of high fashion, but it’s a great start.

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Drones

Airbus’ drone taxi successfully flies autonomously

This is the future!

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Just last month, European aerospace company Airbus flew its autonomous air taxi for the first time. The electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft hovered for 53 seconds on its own and we only got a glimpse of it through photos. Well, the company has just released a video showing what it’s capable of.

A giant drone taking off and hovering for less than a minute before coming back down isn’t really an astounding sight. Although, this is quite an achievement since it’s a totally different aircraft from what Airbus has been producing and the fact that it’s all-electric is already a feat in itself.

As you can see, this less-than-a-minute demonstration of autonomous flight is actually a breakthrough since it’s one of the first to ditch the use of an engine or a gas-electric hybrid and relies solely on a battery to fly. The company said it aims to produce an array of autonomous eVTOL aircrafts that fly from rooftop to rooftop to help alleviate traffic on the road. Airbus envisions this through the use of the latest technologies.

“Our goal is to democratize personal flight by leveraging the latest technologies such as electric propulsion, energy storage, and machine vision,” said Vahana Project Executive Zach Lovering.

It might not happen anytime soon, but we’re one step closer to realizing a future where you hail flying taxis that don’t need their own drivers.

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