DJi has unveiled a video for its ambitious new concept the Phantom X, which has the potential to shake up the drone videography world
Not content with positioning itself as the market leader in the world of consumer drones, DJI is looking to the future. The firm has released a video outlining a “concept” for its future, the DJI Phantom X.
Populated with luminaries from various fields, from actress Chloe Bennet to Adobe Creative Director Russell Brown and House of Cards producer Dana Brunetti, the video provides a glimpse at DJI’s future plans and potentially the future of creative drone videography.
So what does this mean in practical terms? Well, in the video we see the Phantom X following Bennet as she embarks on a sprightly mountain bike ride. It smoothly dodges obstacles and pans around to get the best views. We see multiple drones synchronised with a few taps of a smartwatch, and at the end we see gesture controls used to make a pair of drones paint colours in the sky. It’s impressive stuff.
The idea of a drone that can independently follow its user is nothing new – you may recall Lily [https://www.lily.camera/] from earlier this year, a crowdfunded drone whose USP was doing exactly that. Much like Lily, the Phantom X has an air of user-friendliness about it: one of the key features highlighted in the video is the fact that the user can simply chuck it up in the air and it’ll start working.
DJi is playing things close to its chest for the moment, and we’re missing a lot of technical details on what’s under the bonnet in the Phantom X. Will it shoot 4K, and what resolution of stills can we expect? We don’t know.
We also can’t help but wonder if the prominent use of the word “concept” is a means of subtly admitting that the drones you see in the video are not quite, well, real – the sky-painting sequence in particular has a whiff of CGI to it, not that there’s a problem with that.
The firm has been quite upfront about the fact that this is all theoretical, saying to us, ‘We’re not promising that any of the features you see in the video are going to happen, but like the creators and thought leaders who appear in the video, DJI thinks boldly about the future.’
The timing is interesting. While this video has clearly spent a fair old while in development, it comes rather hot on the heels of GoPro’s announcement that it will be getting into the quadcopter business.
One thing is for certain – the world of drones is going to get pretty competitive and very exciting in years to come.