Have you ever looked at the current market of drones and thought to yourself, “hmmm, I wish I can control that with the force”? Of course you have, we have too ever since we saw DJI’s gesture controls on their brilliant Phantom 4 Pro. On that particular platform you can just use your body language to capture photos on the drone. It’s not much but hey, it’s something. (Actually, we wish we can use the force on everything –
force choke our bosses, force control our TV, force control keyboard, etc. so many things.)
With the newly launched DJI Mavic Air your Sith (or Jedi, if that is your thing; which is weird) can now come true, partly. You still will not be able to force choke anyone for this particular matter or be a certified Force user (there is however an actual Jedi religion/cult, according to our esteemed researcher anyway). With the new DJI Mavic Air you can command it to take off, land, go further, come closer, go higher, and go lower by only using your hands. Of course because we are all still Padawan level, the reach of ‘Force Control’ is only up to 19 feet (5.8 metres). That is still slightly longer than a car length though so I am still quite happy.
Of course the ‘Force Control’ isn’t really the Star Wars phenomenon that we are hoping for. It is just an updated, upgraded version of DJI’s gesture control. It is cleverer in some sense and that is why it will take off when it sees your palm in front of it. It is more like a flying pet then. We also would like to think that this gesture control is inspired by the Malaysian “Hand of God” phenomenon (maybe the fellow that designed the gesture control is a Malaysian).
Other features of the new DJI Mavic Air includes 8GB internal storage which nearly eliminates the need to use a MicroSD card – but you still need a big MicroSD card anyway for 4K resolution videos. DJI is famous for their bird-eye view 4K videos so the Mavic Air still shoots at 4K. It takes photos at 12-Megapixels with HDR too so photos look more stunning that ever. Speaking of, yes you can do a selfie with this too, but it isn’t specifically created for such activities.
If you have not realised by now, the DJI Mavic Air is created to succeed the highly popular outgoing Mavic Pro. In that sense, the Mavic Air is half the size of the Mavic Pro and nearly half the weight as well. It still retains the folding mechanism that the Mavic Pro is known for. But because it is a smaller package battery life is now only up to 21 minutes. You get more sensors on the Mavic Air for better obstacle and collision avoidance, which is now smarter too. There is also a bunch of new features in DJI’s Intelligent Flight modes to cater to expanded creative type videos. If you can figure out Sports mode on the Mavic Air too, it now flies faster at 42.5mph (nearly 70km/h).
It is not officially available in Malaysia yet and we are not too sure when it would land at our gates. We do know though that it is already on Pre-Orders until 28th of January, 2018. The basic set that includes a hard shell carrying case, and a set of extra propeller blades will set you back US$799 (MYR3,113). The Fly More combo will set you back US$999 (MYR3,892) but you get two sets of extra propeller blades, two extra batteries, and a four-battery charger. Now, to wait for it to arrive to Malaysia. If you still can’t tell; MAJOR WANT!