DJI FPV Drone – The First Of Many
I’Ve been in engineering. My entire career, close to 40 years, spent a lot of time designing products releasing products working with marketing analyzing markets that decide. How does the current product we’ve released match the market? What will be changed to make it match the market better? So i’ve got a lot of insight into how companies like dji, think – and i want to give you some of those insights and i’m going to base it on three principles: technology, regulation and, more importantly, the market, because consumers are a fickle bunch, myself included. We’Re always looking for the new shiny thing, that’s being released by a company but as a company you’ve got to constantly stay ahead of that curve of desire, so to speak, to build technology that consumers want and more importantly, justify the cost of an upgrade. So i’ll get into all that in a minute now, in front of me, i’ve got a ton of drones. I promise you that i fly every one of these drones on a regular basis. I’Ve actually had all three of these out: the mini 2, the air 2 and the mavic zoom mavic 2 zoom this week alone. I bet i’m flying those i’ve had this guy out a ton, so these aren’t sitting on a shelf someplace. I use them all the time, they’re very active drones with me, but i keep them around because they’re all different flight experiences. They give different things to me when i’m flying them as far as picture quality and the ability to fly it in certain areas.
So i like them an awful lot, but i also keep them around. So i can study the differences between the generations of what dji is released, and that gives you a lot of insight into where they’re heading in the future. Now to be fair, there’s, really two class of drones. You have what i’ll call buyers that want to buy it charge it put it up in the air and fly it and they’re, typically, camera drones and i’m. A camera drone flyer. I love that that experience to me is incredibly rewarding. I love putting a drone up and capturing footage of a lake or a forest or an area that i haven’t seen before from 200 feet in the air it’s it’s easily. The most relaxing thing that i do in my life. Some people play golf. Some people ski. I fly drones. I love it so camera drones to me are an important part of my life. Fpv is a different animal it’s, a different market segment. The people that fly fpv drones are looking for a different experience. It’S a much more high intensity experience. A lot more adrenaline fuel, the drones are flying lower they’re flying faster you’re in the cockpit it’s used for racing, so they are different markets fundamentally and it’s frustrating to me that there seems to be a divide there between the fpv flyers and the drone camera flyers. I don’t know why that is, i think we should all just get together all flying amazing, robotic machines up in the air, but be that as it may, if i’m dji looking at the market.
This is a different buyer than this. Certainly now dji has dabbled in this before they’ve had goggles come out, they’ve had kids come out for their fpv connections over their last generation of product that came out. They make motors they make accelerometers. They make flight controllers pretty much everything you need to build. An fpv drone dji makes now they’ve never released an fpv drone before so, i think with the dji fpv. This release was their first sort of toe in the water to let people on the market know that they’re getting into fpv in partic, in particular, with this particular model and the reason i’m saying. That is because they could have easily put a kit together, because this market, this is a buyer market. This is a builder market. Typically, so the ready to fly fpv stuff is out there, but most people have fly fpv seriously want to build an fpv and if you’re a nerd like me, that makes a lot of sense and i build a lot of fpv gear it’s, almost like when you’re Buying a computer i’d rather build a computer and build in the components that i want pick the motherboard pick. The processor pick the memory instead of buying one from dell, but i’ve done both. I bought it from dell because i need it one quickly or whoever i’m buying it from that month. I shouldn’t put a plug in for dell, but i buy them and i build them.
This is primarily a builders market, so to have a ready to fly drone with the incredible capabilities of what this drone provides is an interesting move for dji and i think clearly what they were trying to do here is lure the camera market into an easier to Fly fpv model to sort of acclimate them for the fpv market, but you can’t just turn a camera drawn into an fpv drone there’s some really hard limit technologies that have to be in this drone that don’t necessarily have to be over here. So i’ll talk about technology first, but i think their intent with this clearly was to say we’re selling, the majority of our drones to buyers that want to fly a camera there’s a huge market out there for fpv flyers. We got to get into that market. So this gives them sort of a bridge drone to say camera flyers. You can now fly fpv, so i think it was a brilliant move to start there. Having said that, i think this is an ecosystem. This is not. This is not a kit and then a new generation comes out with different stuff. I think the controllers and the goggles will match up with whatever they release next in their fpv space. And if you look closely, you can buy this as a fly more kit to get everything you see here. You can also buy the drone alone. Now you can’t fly the drone without the new controller and the goggles, but there’s, nothing to say that you wouldn’t release their next generation of fpv as a drone alone, and you can still use the controllers and the goggles with it.
So the technology is radically different. So let me talk about what’s important about an fpv drone that isn’t so important with the camera drones. The first one has to do with the latency issues when you’re flying an fpv drone it’s flying fast, it’s flying low it’s flying near things. These are typically up. They’Re not flying as fast they’re, not near things, necessarily, if you’re a good pilot you’re going to keep it away from high tension, wires and trees and such so the latency. The ability for the drone to show you what’s going on in front of it and get that imaging back to you in the goggles and then react so as a pilot if you’re flying quickly. Well, i don’t know if you’ve seen that video it’s absolutely amazing, where this person flies through a bowling alley and then there’s another video where they’re flying through a bunch of tractors when you’re flying in that type of environment. You need instantaneous response from your drone. You need to be able to see the visual quickly and you need to be able to react to it quickly with the controller that latency that lag, if you will, between those technologies, really can’t be handled by the technology over here. These guys have a latency with the ocusync 2 technology, which is the latest generation which is on the the air 2, and the mini 2 has a latency of about 120 to 140 milliseconds. Now that seems fast, that’s, a blink of an eye but it’s not really fast.
If you’re heading for a tree 28 to 40 milliseconds over here, so they’ve taken that 120 to 140 down to 28 and 40 milliseconds incredibly fast resiliency, i should say low latency to give you that that immediate feedback from the camera and your control over the drone. So that was the first thing they had to do. Then you want to look at what they’re building and another reason. I think this is going to be sort of a generation of drones. Maybe not looks like this looks different than this and i’ll explain that in a second is that when you’re building a product for consumers, the one thing you want to try and minimize is the physical changes between the devices. So if you’re building a tv they all kind of look the same, you can improve the display. You can get a better led display in there. You can improve the electronics you may build in streaming, but the frame looks the same dji in their release of their camera. Drones has kind of fiddled around a little bit with the frames, but they started off with the original foldable drone, which is this guy, which is the mavic pro. And if i put that on top of the mavic 2 they’re almost clones, okay, the mavic 2 is bigger because it does a lot more than the original mavic pro does. But by sticking with a similar frame – and you can see the consistency in the frames – this is a little smaller, a little smaller.
Still that saves you a lot of money. You still have to put molds together and everything else, but it saves you a lot of design time when people are sitting down in front of cad cam machines and putting together diagrams to build these again stick with the frame. So this is kind of a derivative that they’ve improved things as they’ve gone through the generation. Now they did have two that were kind of weird, not weird, but different. The first one was the air. The original air, which was a radical departure, was still a folding drone, but they were trying some different things there that didn’t pan out. Because when the air 2 came out, it looks like a mini mavic product and then the other one was the spark which i’m going to kind of put over here, which is similar in design or at least the intent of it for the market was a smaller Drone that was easier to fly. This is more of a fun drone entry drone a little smarter, draw, a little more sophisticated, really smart and sophisticated almost enterprise level flying but outside of these two five of the seven frames and five of the six frames, seven frames i’m, showing you here are all Really similar that’s smart over here, they can’t do that. So i think what you’re gon na see over here is, as these drones are released in this space now there’s rumors that there’s a new version of the air coming out right, i don’t know anything about it.
So i can talk about it. All the speculation i’ve seen is they’re going to call it an air 2s. I would not be shocked if that drone had fpv capabilities and i’ll talk about that in a second, but it is easy to build a camera drone that has fpv like functionality in it. Maybe the flip of a switch and what would that change? Maybe it’ll make it go a little faster it’ll certainly release all the controls over balance, so you can make those swooping moves and you can do flips in the air. Okay, the camera is going to be a problem because over here you have a three axis gimbal that stabilizes the footage. Here you have a single axis gimbal that just goes up and down wouldn’t. Be that hard to lock the gimbal electronically. So if i’m flying, for example, if there’s a new air coming out, that has the ability to be an fpv. If i flip that switch to go into fpv mode, maybe i’m, locking this and i’m locking this i’m only giving you up and down. So there are ways uh intentional ways that you could do it through technology, but again you’re building this. This is a giant market over here you want this, you want it really bad. Some of the other reasons i think there’s going to be more coming over here, have to do with the core technology beyond the frame. So, for example, the gen 1 controller i’ll call it that was the original mavic products.
You flew a lot of products with the controller. It looked almost exactly like this occusync one. We went to the gen 2 controller, which is the occusync 2 technology, and that was on the air 2 in the new mini 2 and again, a brand new generation of controller. This is not an inexpensive move from here to here, even if the electronics are the same, the shell, the casing, the design, the manufacturing process is all different that’s costing you money, which means you’re not making as much on the drone so to move to here and Then decide we’re going to go with an fpv drone and move to here is even more money. So this is again a new design, also, importantly, it’s aki sync 3, which gives you that low latency connection between the drone and the controller so you’re not going to build a controller as a one off for one drone, you’re going to build a controller for a New generation of products, just like you, built this gen 2 controller for the mavic air 2, the mini 2 and probably whatever’s coming next from these guys in this space. So i expect this will stick with the camera drones. This will stick with the fpv drones. One other thing that’s telling is, you might think. Well, maybe this is the gen 3 controller for all the new drones that come out there’s no place to put your phone on this. This is designed specifically to be an fpv controller that’s used with a pair of goggles it’s, not something you’re going to use with these drones, because, as a camera flyer, i want to be able to look down at my phone and see what i’m filming and frame That shot perfectly know where i’m at you don’t get that here right.
So maybe you could use these with this and get around it that way, but most people have flat camera drones want a nice big display, so i can frame that shot perfectly. This is a unique controller that’s built specifically for fpv beyond that. I’Ve got a brand new motion controller. Now this is a radical technology change for dji it’s, a brilliant product. I use that word a lot with this technology, but they’ve come out with three brand new products and new goggles over here. This is a huge heavy lift for an engineering team to put together, but this controller again is a radical departure from this controller. It makes it simpler to fly in a lot of ways you can do things on here that are really easy and intuitive. Here it takes a little bit of time to pinch those things and learn how to fly it so having a new controller come out for this drone you’re, not building this for one generation of drone you’re building this for a series of drones, and i think what This fpv represents for them isn’t, so much a test, it’s sort of the first drone that came out, so they could see what the market says about it, see how it how it’s selling apparently it’s selling out as quickly as they can build them so they’re, seeing There’S, a real appetite with the camera group to move into this fpv space and i think they’re, going to release other form factors that fit that so technology is really interesting in that you can look at what they’re building and think.
Would they build that for one drone? This is an entire ecosystem. That’S been built for this, that isn’t really something that’s going to be cost effective if it’s just for one drone, the last is the goggles. These are fantastic goggles i mean the resolution is amazing. The synchronicity between this and that the latency low latency is there all the controls are built into it. They’Re lightweight, it’s, just a wonderful product. This on its own would be a phenomenal product for dji to sell, and maybe they’ll do that and make it compatible with more drones down the road, but digital fpv is amazing, so the technology, the hardcore technology, part of it. Just to me, you can’t ignore the fact that they’ve built an entire ecosystem that can’t just be for one drone. I think that my prediction again, i probably should say that to the end, is that whatever comes out and down here, the rumors are around the 2s. Coming out whatever that is, expect there to be a big hunk and switch on it that says camera or fpv and you’re gon na flip it, and then you probably again i’m speculating, can fly it with this when you’re an fpv and fly it with something like This, when you’re in camera mode, alright, so that’s the technology side of it, the regulations are going to drive this. All of us are sort of stressing over what the faa is doing. Right now, um with you know, regulations around the heavier drones and you got to register there’s got to be a remote id where’s that going now again to calm everybody down that’s, not going to happen until 2023.
So we have plenty of time yet to fly these drones and have a lot of fun with them, but it is going to happen for drones over 250 grams. These guys, these guys are under 250 grams i’m gon na bet that you’re gon na see um a big drone like this fpv, a medium sized drone, fpv, probably a mini style, drone, fpv and even who’s, to say this technology can’t fit into a whoop right, you’re Gon na build a tiny, whoop that’s, even smaller than this, that you can fly here. So if you’re an fpv fan, you bought the controllers, you bought the goggles, just buy the drone and fly it now. It’S, an fpv, so i’ve got that tiny little drone with an amazing camera on it that i can do all kinds of radical flights with or i can move to bigger drones if i want for, for whatever reason. So i think the technology supports it and i think the future direction where this is going is good, but the regulations are going to drive it because dji’s got to do something with road id now i know that from the little i’ve talked to their engineering teams, About it, they’re working on remote id and honestly, their tech today can can put that remote id information out over a wi fi connection, so they’re ready to go today and actually, if you look at the dji go 4 app and the dji fly app there’s a Place in there to put your registration information, so you could technically be broadcasting that remote id today so they’ve got that nailed it’s already in here too, with that same technology because it’s using the dji flyout, but a lot of people don’t like registering drones.
They don’t like the concept of rid, so these drones don’t require that. So if you build a smaller drone, that’s fpv fly to your heart’s content, use a spotter but fly your heart’s content, no remote id necessary, so regulations can drive it and then the third thing i’ve kind of talked about it already is the market. Now, if i’m dji and i’m looking at my market 80 of my drones are going here, maybe more probably more and 10 of my drones are going here: that’s, a giant unserved market it’s a gigantic market out there now again, most people that fly this type of Technology myself included, build it; they want to buy a frame, they want to buy motion, i mean a accelerometer kit. They want to buy a controller, they want to buy motors all the things you want to put a camera you’re going to put all that stuff together. You’Re going to pick the best possible components, just like i’ve been building a computer motherboard cpu memory. You know disk drives and builded custom, so you can fly it and tune it and be better at it, but there’s, nothing to say that that market can’t be served by ready to fly drones, because this is a gigantic market for it. That would acclimate. I think very quickly to that fpv space. The excitement of flying fpv is unmatched. The thrill i get here is more a calming relief stress, relief, kind of a thing where i’m up in the air and my blood pressure’s going down i’m just smiling.
When i come home it’s the best thing i can do over here, my blood pressure is going up because i’m flying faster i’m close to the ground, so they’re different joneses. So to speak between these two that i’m, seeking when i’m flying fbv versus flying camera. But this market’s underserved there’s a lot of small companies out there that are selling components and parts and everything else to build these. How can they possibly ignore that market? So i think they’re kind of at a pivot point in a lot of ways where they’re saying the camera market’s strong, the remote id thing is going to make it a little more complicated, we’re still going to build some amazing products over here. Who knows if there’s a new product coming in that category, we’ll build the camera drones but we’re testing the market here the uptake on this has been phenomenal for us i’m betting. You, the engineering behind this, will produce other drones in that space. Now. Will they be purely fpv or a hybrid, where it’s a camera drone when you need it it’s an fpv drone when you don’t that’s a little tricky to balance, because true fpv flyers don’t want big frames like this and that’s one big ding that this thing took Out of the gate is that it’s, big okay, it flies a long time, it’s big and when you’re fpv you’re trying to do those crazy shots where you’re flying through the blades of a tractor someplace.
You can’t do that with a big drone like this. So it is look out, so it is kind of uh cross purposes to build a big drone like that, but i’m sure they’ll figure it out again. I’Ve said this before you know i rave about dji all the time, but as an engineer, i appreciate the amount of work and sweat and equity that goes into putting a single product out like this, let alone an entire family of products where you’re constantly updating the Interconnect: technology from hockey, sync docusync, 2 docusign, 3 new controller designs, new safety features built in all the software that goes behind this kind of stuff and dji from the get go has been an incredibly strong engineering company. That really does. Oh, my gosh everything’s fallen. All right get these out of the way. They’Ve been an incredibly strong engineering company that just gets it right and they test like crazy. They talk to a lot of smart people in the field. You know i’m, not one of them. Sometimes they talk to me. Sometimes they don’t, but at the end of the day, they’re building a fleet of technology that to me just lends itself so well to cross this bridge into fpv. So i think you’re going to see a lot of their current technology that morphs into the next generation have fbv flying capabilities for all the reasons i’ve mentioned now. I know this is going to be hugely controversial out there because again, like i said, there’s camera drone camps and there’s fpv camps.
I don’t know why that is and again as an advocate for the hobby in general, i would love for the rc flyers, the camera drone flyers, those home built flyers and the fpv ready to fly. Dr flyers get together and just let’s enjoy the hobby. Let’S, be friends, let’s, not fight, because i fly with everybody. I don’t care what you’ve got if you’ve got a control in your hand and it’s talking to something remotely in the field i’m a buddy i’m willing to talk to you about it and i’m. Going to ask you a million questions about stuff, i don’t know and i’m hoping that that that spirit pervades the industry a little bit more, because there’s no reason for us to be fighting with ourselves when there’s, so many forces outside of our hobby that are aligning Against us, let’s get together on this one anyway that’s my i’ll get that off the soapbox now that’s my little conversation but i’ve studied it, and i believe fully that when whatever comes out here whenever it comes out, i would be shocked if it didn’t work with This and maybe even these two as an option, in addition to the camera side of it so that’s all. I really had for today again sorry for going on so long, but i spent an awful lot of time thinking about this and researching it. So i hope you found this clip helpful. Please leave your comments down below again don’t flame me too bad because again it’s a personal opinion thing, but leave your comments down below.
Let me know what you think and where this thing is heading from dji i’ve got a ton of clips that i’ve been working on we’ve been testing just boatloads of equipment. Over the last couple of weeks, a ton of accessories new products, we’ve got some new drone valley products coming out as well. If you bought from us before you’re going to be really excited with the stuff we’re building, and if you need accessories for any of these drones, we fly them, we love them. We test a lot of stuff and our website has accessories for everything. I’Ve got on the table and a whole lot of drones that aren’t on the table right now, including some of those up on that back shelf. So thanks again for watching, i love putting these kind of clips together.