DJI Unveils Smart Controller With Built-In Monitor at CES 2019

DJI Unveils Smart Controller With Built-In Monitor at CES 2019

DJI has launched a new remote controller for its drones at CES 2019. The Smart Controller combines an ultra-bright display with all of the usual controls, in a move that the Chinese manufacturer will be hoping appeals to pilots who want to fly without having to bring along a phone or tablet.

DJI Smart controller for mavic 2
DJI Smart Controller: An Upgrade on CrystalSky?

The DJI Smart Controller is the latest product to join the company’s ecosystem of accessories.  The 5.5” screen is built into the controller itself, giving pilots one less thing to worry about having to carry around, potentially lose or need to attach before taking off.

The Smart Controller is compatible with DJI’s newest drones: The Mavic 2 Zoom and Mavic 2 Pro. The Mavic 2 Enterprise series will be supported in future updates. The screen displays flight video in Full HD resolution.

The Smart Controller’s ultra-bright display offers an output of 1000 cd/m2, equivalent to twice the brightness of standard smartphones.

The controller comes pre-loaded with an Android dashboard that supports the DJI GO 4, and DJI Pilot applications. The DJI GO 4 app also has been revamped to include SkyTalk, a feature that allows pilots to livestream the drone’s camera feed to social channels including Facebook, Instagram and WeChat.

The Smart Controller also features a number of third-party apps to help with editing and data management.

The DJI Smart Controller offers 2.5 hours of battery life and the ability to operate in temperatures as cold as -4°Fahrenheit and as hot as 104°Fahrenheit.

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As we expected, DJI used their platform and the publicity around the annual CES event in Las Vegas to share the news.

“CES features the newest and smartest tech innovations from around the world, and that makes it the perfect place for DJI to launch our Smart Controller,” said Mario Rebello, Vice President & Country Manager, North America.

“The Smart Controller is DJI’s latest tool to allow anyone to capture incredible perspectives from the sky, and we are excited that CES attendees can experience it first-hand. We invite everyone at CES to try it at our booth, which features our latest innovations in the drone and imaging field and demonstrates how DJI has established itself as a global technology leader.”

DJI Smart Controller: Price and Availability

The new Smart Controller will be available for purchase beginning in early 2019 for $649 USD, slightly more than a 5.5″ CrystalSky monitor.

DJI has confirmed that combo packages that bundle the new Smart Controller with Mavic 2 Pro and Mavic 2 Zoom will be available as well.

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Drone Company AEE Announces AI-fueled Product Launch at CES 2019

Drone Company AEE Announces AI-fueled Product Launch at CES 2019

During CES 2019, drone-tech company AEE Aviation announced the expansion of their partnership with AI start-up ModalAI with the goal of empowering “drones to navigate environments more safely and efficiently for drone operators.”

“Specifically, this unique partnership will allow AEE to integrate advanced AI perception into its core line of drones and UAVs, bringing unprecedented, state-of-the-art safety and autonomy to AEE drones.”

A company statement notes the first product in the new line will be called the AEE Mach 2 and it is expected to onboard the Qualcomm Flight Pro platform featuring the Qualcomm APQ8096SG processor.

“The Mach 2 will be a direct result of a partnership between two industry leaders and a talented group of robotics engineers who are dedicated to making drones safer, easier to fly and more inclusive to the consumer,” said Mike Kahn, AEE’s Chief Marketing Officer.

“The advanced programming offered by ModalAI puts a brain behind standard obstacle avoidance, thus easing two primary concerns among new navigators – crashing their products and injuring others, both of which become far less likely with this new technology.”

When integrated with ModalAI’s features into the Qualcomm Flight Pro Platform, AEE’s Mach 2 is expected to be equipped with the Simultaneous Location And Mapping (SLAM) system, which allows the drone to become aware of its surroundings by creating a virtual map in “its brain” as it flies.

Utilizing visual inertial odometry allows the Mach 2 to better understand its flying environment and allows the drone to hold its position in GPS denied areas. The Mach 2 will also feature GPS and GLONASS satellite positioning systems, an external joystick for easy flying, a 22-minute battery life along with high-quality Sony sensor camera capable of producing 4k videos and 13 mega-pixels still images.

The announcement cements Qualcomm’s higher flight path into the drone sector. In 2017, security company Alarm.com unveiled plans to create an autonomous drone application to strengthen home and business security systems by combining the company’s multi-sensor awareness software with the Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Flight platform.

Earlier, Qualcomm and AT&T launched a research project to determine how drones can effectively operate on wireless networks. The project will address issues related to coverage, signal strength and mobility across network cells to assist in drone functions such as Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS).

Jason is a longstanding contributor to DroneLife with an avid interest in all things tech. He focuses on anti-drone technologies and the public safety sector; police, fire, and search and rescue.

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